Issued 6-18-12 @ 9:00 p.m. by Jennifer Hillmann, Public Information Officer
Evening Update for the High Park Fire 6/18/12 @ 9:00 p.m.
The High Park Fire is estimated at 58,770 acres with 50% containment. Thanks to the firefighters who worked so hard today in such extreme temperatures (90+ degree heat) to continue our fire suppression progress! 1,773 personnel are working on the fire day and night with a 24-hour work schedule in place. Emphasis is on structure protection throughout the fire area is still a high priority.
The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at $14.7 million dollars. The cause of the fire was a lightning strike on private land.
After another assessment of homes last night, there are now eight additional homes confirmed lost in the Buckhorn area down to Redstone Canyon. This brings the total of homes lost to 189.
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.
A mandatory evacuation is still in place for the area east of the Glacier View 9-12th Filings, which were previously evacuated. The new evacuation area is bounded on the east by Hewlett Gulch Trail, on the north by CR74E (Redfeather Lakes Road), on the west by the previous evacuation area and on the south to Highway 14 (Poudre Canyon Road). Evacuation Orders were also issued for the Soldier Canyon and Mill Canyon areas which includes Lodgepole Drive and CR23 west and south including Red Cedar Drive and east to CR23.
Pre-evacuation orders were issued for the Shoreline Road area south of Lory State Park with the southern border being CR38E, eastern border of Horsetooth Reservoir and west to Red Stone Canyon. Residents in these areas were put on a 2-hour notice. For a complete list of areas that remain evacuated and roads that are closed, visit http://www.larimer.org/emergency
The winds that were predicted for today did not materialize over much of the fire area. This gave firefighters the opportunity to make progress on fire lines on the southeast flank of the fire. They were also successful in holding the fire south of Poudre Canyon and north of Buckhorn Road. Islands of unburned fuels within the fire continue to be a concern due to the presence of numerous structures.
A Red Flag Warning is issued for tomorrow over the fire area. On the west side of the fire winds will be out of the west and on the east side of the fire winds are predicted to be out of the northeast. If the opposing winds materialize, significant eddying may create the potential for extreme fire behavior.
Tuesday's weather looks to be slightly cooler with higher relative humidity which will help firefighting efforts. Wednesday looks to have lower humidity, higher temperatures and the possibility for stronger winds.
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. 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.
Additional evacuation areas are still being evaluated to determine when residents may re-enter. Factors being considered before lifting an evacuation include utility repair, emergency traffic in the area and road hazards such as falling rock and trees in the roadway.
Road Closure Information:
On Friday, June 15th, 2012, South Bay and Inlet Bay of Horsetooth Reservoir did open for camping and boating. Boat-in campsites remain closed until Wednesday morning, June 20th, 2012. All areas of Santanka Cove, at the north end of Horsetooth Reservoir, remain closed to access by both land and water. Boating on the north end of the reservoir will be restricted indefinitely in support of helicopter use for the High Park Fire. Buoys will be in place noting restricted areas on the water.
Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, including Horsetooth Mountain Open Space Trailhead and Soderberg Trailhead are under a temporary indefinite closure at this time. This is also true of Eagle's Nest Open Space, which is also closed indefinitely at this time.
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
This is the final update for the evening.