Morning Update for the High Park Fire - 6/29/12
Issued on 6/29/12 at 11:44 a.m. by Jim Toomey, Public Information Officer
Morning Update for the High Park Fire - 6/29/12
The High Park Fire is estimated at 87,284 acres, meaning the fire has not grown since June 27th. Containment is now estimated at 85 percent. The estimated containment date has been moved up from July 15th to July 1st. The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at 36.4 million dollars. There are 1,125 personnel assigned to the firefighting effort. Equipment resources include: 3 Type 1 hand crews, 9 Type 2 hand crews, 79 engines, 9 dozers and 12 water tenders. Air Resources include; 1 Type I (heavy) helicopters, 1 Type II (medium) helicopter, 2 Type III (light) helicopters, fixed wing support aircraft, and available heavy air tankers.
It should be noted that "containment" means that a containment line exists around the fire, which fire managers believe will hold the fire within the perimeter. "Control" means that the fire is actually out which, on a fire of this magnitude, typically requires an act of nature such as prolonged rain or snowfall. Islands of fire will continue to burn within the perimeter during the containment phase and residents should expect to see smoke for days and weeks as the fire moves from containment to control.
On all portions of the fire, line reinforcement, holding, mop-up and rehabilitation continue. Operations personnel continue to secure the southwest portion of the fire. Fire line rehabilitation continues in all areas. The fire team has made many resources available for reassignment to other fires, but is keeping crews and equipment to sustain effective suppression work across the High Park Fire.
Line reinforcement, holding, mop-up and structure protection to maintain existing control efforts will continue. A Cobra heat-sensing helicopter will be working over the fire beginning at 8:00 am to detect remaining heat sources, and to guide firefighters to remaining heat pockets in the interior of the burn area.
The majority of evacuated residents have been allowed to return to their neighborhoods. Fire officials will spend the next 24 hours assessing the remaining evacuation zones to determine when they can be reopened. The following areas are still closed to all traffic and under evacuation:
- Areas accessed from Pingree Park Road (CR63E)
- Areas accessed from Old Flowers Road (CR52E) west of the 8000 block
- Areas accessed from Buckhorn Road (CR44H)
- Areas accessed from Hwy 14 between Mishiwaka and Eggers
Fire officials plan to allow residents to enter the 12th Filing of Glacier View at noon today. These residents will need credentials, which can be picked up at the roadblock on Eiger Road.
Drivers should stay alert for frequent fire traffic, debris flows with ash from thunderstorms, rocks that have rolled onto roads, and other distracted drivers. Citizens should stay out of burnt timber. Fire-weakened trees can fall unexpectedly and silently.
All residents returning to their homes need to remain vigilant and consider themselves in a pre-evacuation status until otherwise notified.
The total number of homes destroyed to date has increased to 259. Two more homes have been confirmed as lost. One was in Laurence Creek; the other in the Old Flowers Road area (NOTE: this is a correction. These two additions were stated as being in Glacier View at today's media briefing). These homes burned when the fire was in the area several days ago, but were only verified during an assessment of the area yesterday.
It should be noted that the data of homes destroyed was developed during the firefighting efforts. A formal assessment of homes and outbuildings in now underway, and the total may change.
Hot and dry weather is expected to continue today with morning sun, southwest winds, afternoon lightning and wind.
Resident Information (Meetings, Evacuation Notices and Evacuation Lift Notices):
Because so many evacuees now have access to their homes, no further citizen briefings are planned. Remaining evacuees are welcome to call the Fire Information line at (970) 498-5500. They may also obtain information at www.larimer.org/emergency.
The next media briefing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 30, 2012. Briefings are held at the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science, located at 3915 W. Laporte Avenue in Fort Collins.
The June 30th briefing will be the final media briefing. Media may continue to call the Joint Information Center for information at 970-980-2501.
Road Closure Information:
The Larimer County Sheriff's Office has a webpage dedicated to road closures due to the High Park Fire. Visit the link http://larimersheriff.org/site-page/high-park-fire-road-information for more 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 9 a.m. to 6 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 during the day and evening, and at www.larimer.org or on Twitter @ larimersheriff or Inciweb at www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/.
Find out if your loved ones are safe here (Red Cross Safe and Well Registry):
For the latest updated map of the High Park Fire, check out this link:
Residents are reminded to receive emergency notifications on cell phones or email and should visit the website at www.leta911.org.
For Public Health Advisories regarding wildfires, see "Wildfires and Your Health" at http://www.larimer.org/health/