LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — New mandatory evacuations were ordered Friday as winds once again stirred the Cameron Peak Fire, which is now the largest in Colorado history at 173,536 acres.
The sudden shutdown of Highway 34 several miles outside of Drake — brought on by mandatory evacuation orders — created a traffic nightmare.
Nearby, the community of Masonville where Troy Pelfresne lives was evacuated a few days ago.
“I’m concerned about the fire raging back up and doing another move like it did the other night,” Pelfresne said.
Pelfresne’ s concern was warranted on Friday when winds were expected to gust up to 50 mph.
Cameron Peak Fire Public Information Officer Dave Stephan said, “Strong winds like that certainly complicate the issue. You can get embers blowing out in front of the fire, which creates spot fires.”
Thousands of people have been asked to evacuate.
“We don’t know if our house burned. We don’t know how far the fire burned. The maps do help but there’s no really knowing until we are able to go back up,” said evacuee Maya Bartman of Pingree Park.
Outside of the Embassy Suites Hotel in Loveland, evacuee Nolan Price played his guitar on Friday.
“I get a bit fidgety in my room. It just calms me down everyday,” Price said.
It’s unclear how much longer evacuees will be forced to stay away from their homes.