Evening Update for the High Park Fire 6/19/12 @ 8:30 p.m.
The High Park Fire is estimated at 59,845 acres with 55% containment. 1,911 personnel are working on the fire with a 24-hour work schedule in place. 17 helicopters are assisting ground crews and supporting suppression and any necessary medical evacuation efforts. Emphasis is on structure protection throughout the fire area and is still a high priority.
A spot fire in the NW corner of the fire (over Poudre Canyon Road/HWY 14) triggered a Pre-Evacuation for the Rustic area. Fire officials have issued a new pre-evacuation order for the area of Hwy 14 from the Pingree Park Road west to approximately mile marker 90, just west of the Glen Echo Resort. Residents in this area need to be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice. This includes a road called Rustic Road, which runs south off of Hwy 14 (just west of Glen Echo). If residents need to evacuate, they will go west on Hwy 14 to Walden. (95 Notifications sent)
The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at $17.2 million dollars.
The cause of the fire was a lightning strike on private land. Utility companies are working in areas to re-establish power where it is safe to do so. They will be in areas where they can make permanent fixes, not in areas where there is a re-evacuation or high fire activity.
A Glacier View Informational meeting will be held tomorrow night, June 20th, at 7:00 p.m. at 1417 Green Mountain Drive, Gate 8 in Glacier View.
For residents who have evacuated livestock and large animals that are currently housed at The Ranch, there will be two informational meetings on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at The Ranch inside of the Ranch-Way Feeds Indoor Arena in the grandstands. The first meeting will be at 4:00 P.M. and again at 6:00 P.M. for those who can't make the 4:00 P.M. meeting. The Ranch Staff, Larimer County Sheriff's Posse, Larimer Humane Society and CSU Ambulatory Vets will be available to answer questions regarding logistics and operations. They will also discuss animal care and would like to deliver some information on how to better serve the animals on-site, get feed-back from those that are using the facilities at The Ranch, and plan for future meetings.
It should be noted that today, the Board of Larimer County Commissioners added additional fire restrictions on Open Fires, Contained Open Fires and the Sale and Use of Fireworks and Public Fireworks Displays for the unincorporated areas of Larimer County through September 30, 2012. The restrictions were originally adopted on April 10 and extended on May 15th and June 4, 2012. Today’s decision was based on a recommendation from Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith and Fire Chiefs from area fire agencies.
The Sheriff’s Office along with the Board of County Commissioners will continue to closely monitor potential fire danger.
There are roaming patrols, National Guard personnel and video surveillance being used to ensure that residences in the burn area remain safe and are not targets of looting.
Today’s predicted weather will provide a challenge for firefighters. Structure protection and mitigation around homes remains the top priority within and adjacent to the fire. Mitigation around structures well outside the fire area will continue as a precaution in the event that the fire continues to grow. Containment lines on the east flank of the fire continue to hold. On the north and south flanks, firefighters will continue to work to hold the fire between Buckhorn Road and Poudre Canyon. Good progress is being made on containment lines on the southeast edge where the fire crossed the line on Sunday. To the west of the fire, contingency lines along Pingree Park Road and Forest Road 135 are being improved and will be used in the event that the fire pushes to the west.
A RED FLAG WARNING is in effect today until 9:00 p.m. tonight. Winds combined with a very dry air mass will result in critical fire weather once again. This marks the third day a Red Flag Warning has been issued. Tomorrow and Thursday, an increase in relative humidity is expected along with cooler temperatures.
After another assessment of homes yesterday, there are now eight additional homes confirmed destroyed in the Buckhorn area down to Redstone Canyon for a total of 189 homes destroyed to date. Officials are informing homeowners about fire damage as that information becomes available, and the priority will be getting this information to residents first.
As more assessments are made and information becomes available, residents will be notified by subdivision at the daily citizen briefings. Areas still evacuated are being evaluated to determine when residents may re-enter. Factors being considered before lifting an evacuation include fire activity, utility repair, emergency traffic in the area, and road hazards such as falling rocks and trees.
Formal assessment of structures is a methodical process and will continue for at least a couple of weeks. Some areas are still inaccessible due to fire activity and road hazards.
For reference, after containment is reached, personnel will wait at least 24 hours before they start to consider reentry into that area as they must wait at least 24 hours for the area to cool down before evaluation can begin to determine if people can return to the evacuated areas. For a complete list of areas that remain evacuated and roads that are closed, visit http://www.larimer.org/emergency
Road Closure Information:
Larimer County has opened the High Park Fire Disaster Recovery Center on the Colorado State University Campus at Johnson Hall. The center is open Mon-Fri from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parking is free for victims on the south side of the administration building. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.safety.colostate.edu
Public information is available at the Larimer County Emergency Information line at 970-498-5500 where information officers are answering the phone, and at www.larimer.org
or on Twitter @larimersheriff, or Inciweb at www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/
Residents are reminded to receive emergency notifications on cell phones or email and should visit the website at www.leta911.org
Julie M. Berney Larimer County Sheriff's Office Public Information Office 970-980-2501