High Park Fire Update - Evening 6-14-12

 

Issued 6/14/12 @ 9:45p.m. by Jennifer Hillmann, Public Information Officer

Important Facts from Today:

High Park Fire is currently at 52,000 acres with 15% containment. 

Due to the incredible efforts of our firefighting crews and air support, the fire only grew approximately 2,000 acres today.  This is the lowest daily growth to date.

The current cost of the fire to date is now estimated at $7.2 million dollars.

Of the approximate 2,600 notifications sent out, 1,187 have been lifted.

Southwest crews are holding and maintaining fire at Buckhorn Road.

Fire officials issued an all-clear for County Road 29C and McMurry Ranch Road.  In addition, an all-clear was issued for the area of Big Bear Road, Bar D Ranch Road, south on the Buckhorn Road to the junction of the Masonville Road, northwest to include Alfalfa Way, Buckhorn Ridge Way and Running Brook Lane.  Residents in these areas may return to their homes.   Residents will be required to show identification with proof of address in order to have a pass issued. 

Officials will be evaluating Cloudy Pass area to see if conditions are safe for residents to return.

Gov. John Hickenlooper has banned open burning and the private use of fireworks throughout Colorado amid high fire danger.  Hickenlooper signed an executive order Thursday issuing the statewide ban.

There have been unsubstantiated reports of looting in the area of evacuated homes.  Residents should be reassured there is a very strong law enforcement and National Guard presence to deter any such activity and to date there are no confirmed reports of looting.

Structures damaged:

Structure protection continues to be a top priority as well as ensuring we do not lose the lines we have already built.

Officials are informing homeowners about fire damage as it becomes available and the priority will be getting this information to residents first.  To date, 31 homeowners from the Stratton Park, Pine Acres and parts of Poudre Canyon have been notified that their homes have been destroyed.

An additional 17 homes in the Poudre Canyon from Stove Prairie to the mouth of the canyon have also been destroyed.  The assessment is still underway and this number will continue to grow.   

Evaluations continue of the structures that have been damaged or destroyed in Rist Canyon, Paradise Park, Stove Prairie, Poudre Park, Old Flowers, Stratton Park, Kings Canyon, Cloudy Pass, Soldier Canyon and Mill Canyon.  Firefighters will continue to evaluate the area subdivision by subdivision.

There are still many unburned areas within the perimeter of the fire, so evacuated residents should not assume their homes are damaged or destroyed.

The assessment and recovery team continues their efforts to identify specific addresses of damaged or destroyed properties.

Following the daily 3:00 citizen briefing, residents who live in areas where property damage has been confirmed can call 970-619-4086 to find out the status of their home.  This phone line will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. from 5:00 p.m.

Fire Behavior:

Interior and west side of the fire are still active.  Southeast and Northeast corners are mopping up and the line in those areas are holding.  The Poudre Canyon area was less active than in previous days.

The fire continues to push west into heavy beetle killed fuels; however, fire behavior on the western section of the fire was moderated by a brief rain shower.

Soldier and Mill Canyon as well as Redstone Canyon and Buckstone Heights remain closed due to hot spots and fire activity in the area.  Buckhorn Road also remains closed to Masonville.

A new small 60-100 acre spot fire today was caused by a thunderstorm with strong downdrafts that parked over SW corner of fire.  This caused an increase of fire behavior over western perimeter, which launched embers from torching trees into the wind, which then started the spot fire.

Road Checkpoints:

CR 38E/CR 27 -                                   Restricted access, residents only, credentials required

CR 38E/CR 25E (Redstone Canyon) - No access

CR 38E/CR 23 -                                   No access

CR 23/Lodgepole -                              No access

CR 27E/Cr 52E -                                  No access

CR 52E/Brianna Lane -                        No access

Hwy 287/Hwy 14/CR 29C -                   Restricted access

Hwy 14/Pingree Park Road (63E)        No access

 

Highway 287 is open.

Resources on scene:

1,300 ground and engine crews are fighting the fire.  More resources are still expected.

5 SEATS (Single Engine Air Tankers)

4 type 3 helicopters

3 type 2 helicopters

4 type 1 helicopters

Air Attack control plane

Lead plane

3 heavy air tankers (there are only 9 available in the nation)

Cause of fire:

Lightning has been confirmed as the cause of the fire.  

Weather:

Temperatures were slightly cooler on Thursday with higher humidity levels than yesterday. Winds were terrain driven and were out of the SW at 10-15MPH with gusts to 20.  There were some stronger downdrafts from a thunderstorm cell that was on the SW corner of the fire.

More information can be found at:

Larimer County will open the High Park Fire Disaster Recovery Center at 7:00 a.m. starting tomorrow, Friday, June 15, at Johnson Hall on the Colorado State University Campus.  The center will be open Mon-Fri from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  This center will remain open for the next 3-4 weeks to help residents affected by the High Park Fire.  For more information about the Disaster Recovery Center and the High Park Fire, visit our website at www.larimer.org/highparkfire.

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 http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/.

Residents can sign up to receive emergency notifications on cell phones or email at www.leta911.org .

This is the final update for the day.  If you have further questions please call 211 or 970-407-7066.

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