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Wildfire Danger Is Very High! Updates To Current Fires [VIDEO]

While the Guernsey State Park/Cow Camp fire is now contained and in the mop down stages, we have a new fire that broke out just yesterday (Sunday) morning!

Russell’s Camp Fire – Fact Sheet

Size: 800 acres and growing.

Location: Southwest corner of Converse County, Wyo. 32 miles south of Glenrock, Wyo. West of Squaw Mountain, southwest of Buffalo Peak, northwest of Campbell Creek Campground and Twin Peaks Trailhead. North and west of County Road 24, also known as Cold Springs Road or Little Medicine Road.

Terrain: Very rugged.

Land ownership: Burning on the Medicine Bow National Forest and on private lands.

Resources: Two crews on scene, four additional crews en route. A Type II and a Type III helicopter worked the fire on Sunday. One load of fire retardant was dropped.

Initial attack: U.S. Forest Service, Douglas Ranger District.

Structures threatened: Cabins are in the area. No imminent threat.

Direction: The fire was driven to the north and east by high winds on Sunday.

Forecast: Monday’s high temperature will be near 90, winds from the west near 25 mph, humidity near 20%.

Cause: Under investigation.

Reported: Mid-day Sunday.

Information updates: Will be provided by Public Affairs staff from the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland, and can be found on Twitter at @MBRNFsTBNG, hashtag #Russell’sCampFire.

And then there still are the wildfires raging just south of our border, down in the Fort Collins area. Here is the latest update on those fires from the Forest Service;

Some dramatic footage of the fire from yesterday…

FIRE OVERVIEW

The High Park Fire is located approximately 15 miles west of Fort Collins and has burned 58,046 acres to date and is estimated 45 percent contained. 1748 personnel are working on the fire with a 24-hour schedule with night shifts and day shifts. Steep terrain, limited access, and the presence of dense stands of beetle killed trees to the west of the fire area are of concern to fire officials. Emphasis is on structure protection throughout the fire area.

Yesterday a Red Flag Warning was issued for the fire area indicating critical fire weather. In the afternoon, winds shifted to the northwest and relative humidity dropped to 3-4 percent. Wind gusts of up to 30 – 50 miles per hour (mph) were reported. With the shift in wind direction and very low relative humidity, fire activity increased on the southeast flank of the fire near Laurence Creek Lane, Redstone Canyon and Horsetooth Mountain. The fire spotted across the line on the southeast corner, and numerous resources were moved to the area to assist. All aircraft was grounded until early evening due to high winds and low visibility.

Today firefighters will continue to improve and strengthen existing containment lines on the north and south flanks to keep the fire north of Buckhorn Road and south of Poudre Canyon. Along the southwest flank of the fire crews will continue constructing direct line from Buckhorn Road to East White Pine Mountain. Additional resources have been assigned to the southeast flank where the fire slopped across the line yesterday. Crews will focus on constructing direct and indirect fireline in this area. Structure protection is in place for structures within and adjacent to the fire area. Due to other fire activity within the region, the four heavy airtankers will be available as needed, but will be supporting the other fires as well.

WEATHER

A Red Flag Warning is in effect from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Strong west winds combined with a very dry air mass will result in very critical fire weather conditions today. Winds are predicted to come out of the west at 15-25 mph gusting to 35-50 mph. Relative humidity of 3-8 percent is also expected.

EVACUATION INFORMATION

Mandatory re-evacuation orders were issued for the Soldier Canyon and Mill Canyon areas. This includes Lodgepole Drive and CR 23 west and south including Red Cedar Drive, and east to CR 23.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued earlier today for residents in the Hewlett Gulch subdivision area. The area runs from the Glacier View 9-12 filings (already evacuated) east to the Hewlett Gulch Trail, north to CR 74E and south to HWY 14.

Cloudy Pass residents were allowed to return home as of noon 6/15 (no credentials required). Residents in the Poudre Canyon up to Gateway park area (east of Gateway) were also allowed to return on 6/15.

Thursday fire officials issued an evacuation order for the 9th, 10th and 11th filings of Glacier View, to include the area west from Eiger Road to Rams Horn Mountain Road and north from the Mount Blanc Guardian Peak area to the north end of Mount Everest Drive. Fire officials also ordered evacuations of 80 residences along Many Thunders Road and south into the 12th Filing of Glacier View. Roads included in this evacuation include Meadow Mountain Drive, Little Bald Mountain Court, Grey’s Peak Court, Diamond Peak Court, Little Twins Court, Red Mountain Court, Pingree Hill Court, Rabbit Ears Court, Bullrock Court and Black Mountain Court. The road block will be located at Eiger and Many Thunders Mountain Road. An additional roadblock is located at Green Mountain Drive at CR 74E.

CR 74E remains open and a pre-evacuation alert remains in effect for the rest of Glacier View subdivision (including the area north of CR 74E), and the area south of CR 74E between Hewlett Gulch Road to the east and CR 68C to the west and HWY 14 to the south.

Evacuated residents looking to evacuate animals must contact the humane society at 226-3647. Again, do not show up at road blocks to attempt to gain access to care for or evacuate animals.

Evacuation orders remain in place for the following areas:

-Pingree Park Road, Hourglass and Comanche reservoirs, east on Buckhorn Road up to and including Pennock Pass, NE to junction with Stove Prairie and Hwy 14; West to junction with Highway 15 and Pingree Park Road

-County Road 44H (Buckhorn Road) from County Road 27 to Pennock Pass and residents to the south approximately 3/4 – 1 mile.

-Areas south and west of Bellvue to include the Lory State Park area, the Redstone Canyon area and Buckhorn Road up to the Stove Prairie School.

-Poudre Canyon from MM111 to MM118 on Highway 14. This means Poudre Canyon from Stove Prairie to MM118 is under mandatory evacuations.

-The area between CR 27E and Stove Prairie Road and south through the entire Rist Canyon area including Davis Ranch Road, Whale Rock Road.

-South on County Road 44H 3 miles to just north of Stringtown Gulch Road, Paradise Park Road, Moose Horn Lane, Magic Lane and Spencer Mountain Road.

-Old Flowers Road from Stove Prairie Road to the 8000-block of Old Flowers Road.

-Stove Prairie Road north along County Road 27 to Highway 14, east along Highway 14 to approximately mile marker 111, southeast to Rist Canyon Fire Station 1, then back west to to include Wilderness Ridge Way, Rist Creek Road, Spring Valley Road and County Road 41 and all of the roads that run off of it.

-Hewlett Gulch, King’s Canyon area and Boyd Gulch Road.

-Satanka Cove

EVALUATIONS

Evaluations continue to determine which areas are safe for residents to return home.

Redstone and Buckhorn are still too hot for residents to return.

RE-INTEGRATION

Residents of some neighborhoods will need to provide identification with proof of address in order to receive credentials allowing them into the area. These credentials can be obtained at the road block or at The Ranch. One form may be filled out to gain access for multiple vehicles, however, do not show up at road blocks expecting to gain access to property without proper credentials.

As of June 16, residents of Soldier and Mill Canyon Estates were allowed to return to their homes. No credentials are needed but residents will need to present an ID at the road block to gain entry.

As of June 16, residents living along Highway 14 between CR 29C and Gateway Park were being allowed back to their homes with proper credentials.

As of June 14, residents of CR 29C and McMurray Ranch Road are being allowed back to their homes with proper credentials.

As of June 14, Bonner Peaks and Bonner Springs subdivisions plus Ingleside Road are open to residents.

As of June 14, CR 27, including Big Bear Road but not Otter Road, is open to residents with credentials at the road block at Big Bear Road.

As of Tuesday, June 12 residents on CR 38E from Gindler Ranch Road west to Milner Ranch Road are allowed to return to their homes with credentials.

Residents of the Shoreline Drive area from north of County Road 38E from the west side of the reservoir to just east of County Road 25E with credentials. (on pre-evacuation notice)

Evacuations have been lifted for residents of the Bellvue area from County Road 27E to the east, excluding Brianna Lane and Suri Trail. This area does not have a road block.

ASSESSMENTS

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 citizens briefings. This process could take several weeks to complete as the fire is still active and growing.

On Sunday, additional homes have been reported lost. There needs to be additional assessment work done in the Rist Canyon and Redstone areas. Initial information is one home lost in Redstone and two additional homes lost in Rist Canyon.

To date, 181 homeowners from the Davis Ranch, Stove Prairie, Stratton Park, Pine Acres, Soldier Canyon, Missile Silo Road, Cloudy Pass, Picnic Rock, Spring Valley, Old Flowers, Whale Rock, Paradise Park, Tip Top, Rist Creek Rist Canyon, Poudre Fire Authority District along the Front Range and Poudre Canyon from Stove Prairie to the mouth of Poudre Canyon have been notified that their homes have been destroyed. The assessment is still underway and this number may continue to grow. Assessment information is being desiminated to homeowners at the citizen briefings. Residents who could not attend these meetings can obtain information regarding the status of their property by calling 970-619-4086. Phones will be staffed from 8 AM to 5 PM seven days a week and messages can be left after hours. Only three lines will be active, so please do not call for information before it has been announced.

Larimer County opened the High Park Fire Disaster Recovery Center on June 15, at Johnson Hall on the Colorado State University Campus. The center is open Mon.-Fri. from 7 AM to 7 PM and Sat.-Sun. from 9 AM to 3 PM. The center will likely remain open for 3-4 weeks. More information about the Disaster Recovery Center at Larimer.org.

ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION

Hwy 14 (Poudre Canyon) is closed from east of Gould to CR 29C

CR 25E (Redstone Canyon) is closed at intersection of CR 38E

CR 27 (Stove Prairie Road) from Big Bear Road to HWY 14

CR 44H (Buckhorn Road) west from CR 27

CR 52E (Rist Canyon Road) Stove Prairie to Bellvue

CR 23 North near North Horsetooth Reservoir (South Centennial/CR 23 is open)

FS 152 (Old Flowers Road)

Roads south of CR 74E in Glacier View area including Many Thunders Road, Eiger Road, Green Mountain Road and Gate 1

CR 63E Pingree Park Road and Crown Point Road from HWY 14

Roads are closed south of CR 74E (this closure does not include CR 74E). This road closure includes Hewlett Gulch Road, Deer Meadow Way, Gordon Creek Lane and all connecting roads in that area.

ROADS OPEN WITH RESTRICTED ACCESS

Roads in the area of CR 27 are open from Masonville to Big Bear Road to residents only. (Excludes Otter Road).

CR 29C and McMurray Ranch Road

OPEN

Red Feather lakes Road CR 74E

HWY 287

BRIEFING INFORMATION

Monday’s afternoon media briefing is scheduled for 4 p.m. at CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science located at 3915 West Laporte Ave., Fort Collins.

Citizen briefing at 3 a.m. at the evacuation center at The Ranch.There are no meetings scheduled for Glacier View. All evacuees or pre-evacuee residents are encouraged to go to the Ranch at 3 p.m. today.

FIRE RESOURCES

17 helicopters:

8 Type 1 Helicopters

3 Type 2 Helicopters

6 Type 3 Helicopters

(3 Blackhawk Helicopters included in those numbers)

4 Heavy Air Tankers (available if needed)

118 Engines

37 Type 1 Hand Crews and Type 2 Hand Crews

Water Tenders

Dozers

Total of 1748 personnel

6 Feller Bunchers to cut and gather trees

OTHER RESOURCES

Register cell phones for notifications at leta911.org.

The Humane Society is providing assistance for evacuated people who need help with rescue and welfare of animals behind the road blocks. Call 226-5500 ext. 7.

Some 50 National Guard members are assisting with roadblocks.

 

Basic Information

Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Saturday June 09th, 2012 approx. 05:54 AM
Location appx. 15 miles west of Fort Collins
Incident Commander Bill Hahnenberg

Current Situation

Total Personnel 1,748
Size 58,046 acres
Percent Contained 45%
Fuels Involved 10 Timber (litter and understory) Grass, Brush and Timber
Fire Behavior Increase in fire behavior due to strong winds and low relative humidity. Active backing fire downslope and into the wind. Single and group tree torching, with short duration crown runs in interior unburned fuels. Short range spotting. Resistance to control is high.
Significant Events Red Flag Warning issued by NWS for Sunday 6/17 and Monday 6/18 for high temperatures, low relative humidity, and gusty winds. High winds and turbulence suspended all air operations mid-morning, which greatly limited aerial support of ground firefighting actions. Heavy smoke limited visibility, which limited tactics. Residential evacuations and road closures remain in effect, with 5 subdivisions evacuated today; 2 evacuation centers and a disaster recovery center remaining open; Some evacuation areas have been lifted to residents only on the east side of the fire.

Outlook

Planned Actions Structure (point) protection has been extremely effective with no loss of additional homes for the last several days. Planned actions for tomorrow include: continue structure (point) protection within and around the burn area; Continue with evaluation and prep work for potential future firing operations on the west and north sides of the fire, including the use of mechanical equipment; Continue direct and indirect line construction from anchor points; Reinforce, defend, and patrol existing control lines; Triage and assess structures within the burned area; and continue to assess the need for evacuations in coordination with local law enforcement.
Growth Potential Extreme
Terrain Difficulty High
Remarks Significant community and general media interest; Colorado Army National Guard and Colorado Air National Guard assisting with road closures and also providing fireline personnel, heavy engines and equipment; Damage assessment teams are validating and identifying damaged and destroyed structures; Approximate ownership as of 6/17/12 at 1630 hours=66% state/private and 34% USFS. Over 1000 incident personnel will be in spike camps tonight.

 

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