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Wildfires Update [VIDEOS]

All across the Front Range of the Rockies from New Mexico all the way up to Wyoming, we are again waking up to smoke filled lungs & skies, with no end in sight for some of the wildfires. There is some good news on the Guernsey-Cow Camp fires;

Guernsey, WY- Evacuation notices have been lifted for the community of Hartville and the residents of Pleasant Valley Road. However, evacuations for the Guernsey State Park remain in effect until further notice. Wyoming State Park officials will be escorting interested parties to their cabins or private property but the Park is not yet open to visitors. Platte County Sheriff Steve Keigley added, “If you are caught going around the barricades, you will be ticketed and fined.” For more information on the re-opening of Guernsey State Park, call 307-777-6324.

Guernsey State Park has been closed since June 10th, 2012 when the fire began.

(Beth Hermanson, Public Information Officer, Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team C)

The news is not as good for the High Park Fire, the latest details are not very encouraging.

The High Park Fire has reached 10 percent containment, officials announced Tuesday evening.The 43,372 acre blaze has prompted officials to send out more than 2,600 evacuation notices since Saturday. New evacuation orders have been issued for the entire Pingree Park Road area after the Fire changed directions.

The area includes the Hourglass and Comanche reservoirs, east on the Buckhorn Road up to and including Pennock Pass, northeast to the intersection of Stove Prairie Road and Highway 14, and west to the intersection of Highway 14 and Pingree Park Road.

Officials have allowed some residents to return to their homes.

Evacuation orders for parts of the Horse Tooth area off CR 38E, west to Milner Ranch Road and to Gindler Ranch Road, were lifted Tuesday. But the northern part of the reservoir is still under an evacuation order.

Residents in the Glacier View subdivision, off Red Feather Lakes Road, received pre-evacuation alerts.

Evacuees can go to The McKee building at The Ranch at Interstate 25 and Crossroads Boulevard.

Officials said structure protection groups were able to save several homes Tuesday.

Larimer County says 634 personnel are fighting the blaze at a cost so far of $3 million. That figure is expected to increase.

On Monday afternoon, officials said at least 100 structures have been damaged or destroyed by the fire in the Rist Canyon area. Seventy percent of the fire is burning private land while 30 percent is on U.S. Forest Service land.

On Monday, authorities confirmed 62-year-old Linda Steadman died from the blaze. Search crews found Steadman’s remains at her house on Old Flowers Road.

Authorities say Steadman received two notification calls. A deputy was on his way to personally warn her, but he was pushed back by flames.

Larimer County says the estimated cost of damage as of Monday night was $1.6 million.

Larimer County spokesperson Nick Christensen says crews made good progress on the fire Monday.

Christensen says they are taking measures in case the fire moves north into the Glacier View area, where there are several homes just off Red Feather Lakes Road. However, he stressed no evacuation orders have been issued yet.

The state of Colorado activated its emergency management center in Centennial Monday morning – sending much-needed crews and equipment.

Emergency managers called officials in Wyoming and Nebraska asking to get neighboring states to send military helicopters with fire buckets to help.

The Colorado National Guard already has helicopters working on the High Park Fire.

Managers are trying to send as much support as possible without leaving other areas vulnerable in case of a new fire.

“Part of that process of deciding what goes where is also making sure that we have appropriate levels of staffing to cover the other areas of Colorado,” Micki Trost with the Colorado Division of Emergency Management said. “We won’t completely deplete a portion of our state in order to support another.”

View map of fire perimeter here

As of Monday, 2,600 evacuation order notifications were issued for the area near the fire.

The following evacuation orders were sent out as of Monday:

  • Pre-evacuation notice sent to part of Glacier View CR74E, south and east of McNay Hill. Hewlett Gulch Road, Deer Meadow Way and Gordon Creek Lane
  • North of County Road 38E, from Horsetooth Reservoir to Redstone Canyon to Lory State park
  • Bonner Peaks subdivision
  • County Road 44H (Buckhorn Road) from County Road 27 to Pennock Pass and residents to the south approximately 3/4-1 mile, you will need to exit the area by going east on County Road 44H/Buckhorn Road
  • CR27E to Bellvue
  • 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 CR27E and Stove Prairie Road and south through the entire Rist Canyon area including Davis Ranch Road, Whale Rock Road. South on CR44H 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 include Wilderness Ridge Way, Rist Creek Road, Spring Valley Road and County Road 41 and all of the roads that run off of it

According to Larimer County, many residents are refusing to evacuate. The county is keeping a record of who refused for public records.

The shelter set up at Cache La Poudre Middle School closed Sunday night due to smoke. The shelter has moved to The Ranch, along Interstate-25/Crossroads Boulevard, between Loveland and Fort Collins.

Large animals and livestock can be taken to The Ranch also. Small domestic animals can be taken to the Larimer County Humane Society. If you want to help the evacuated animals, you can donate to the Larimer Humane Society online, www.larimerhumane.org.

Nine wolves were evacuated to the Wolf Sanctuary in Larimer County. Each wolf is with its pack-mate, allowing them to be in groups of two or three. Volunteers are monitoring the wolves 24 hours a day. If you would like to help, offers can be made on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/wolf.sanctuary. They need items such as dog food, bowls, kennels, blankets and various other things listed on their Facebook page.

The fire dens – or underground concrete bunkers – that were built in 2011 are working. Monday afternoon, the Wolf Sanctuary workers were able to get into the facility and check in on the animals. Though there is slight fire damage to the property, the fire has not affected the enclosures. They were not able to evacuate more animals, but they were able to bring in more food and water.

“The community is here for you and the community really does care. So, thank you for those who care,” Patricia Billinger, with the American Red Cross, said Monday.

One firefighter was taken by a non-emergent by ambulance out of the area for heat exhaustion on Sunday. There have been no other firefighter injuries reported at this time.

At least 100 home were lost or damaged due to the fire with more threatened. Monday morning, Larimer County confirmed the structures were mostly lost in the following areas:

  • Rist Canyon
  • Stove Prairie to Old Flowers Road
  • Paradise Park
  • Poudre Canyon and Park

There are many unburned areas within the perimeter of the fire, so residents should not assume their homes are damaged or destroyed. An assessment and recovery team will be working to identify specific addresses of damaged or destroyed properties.

“It’s pretty tough, people have lost their homes and everything they owned,” Hickenlooper said Sunday. “Their world is very different than it was a day ago.”

Road closures include:

  • Highway 14 from Ted’s Place to Stove Prairie Road
  • Highway 14 east of CR69
  • CR23 & Lodge Pole/Lory State Park
  • CR25E & CR54E
  • CR27 (Stove Prairie Road) south from Highway 14
  • CR27 (Stove Prairie Road) one mile south of CR44H (Buckhorn Road)
  • CR27 & CR38E
  • CR27 north of CR44H
  • CR38E and CR25E
  • CR44H (Buckhorn Road) west of CR27
  • CR52E (Rist Canyon Road) west of CR27E
  • CR52E (Rist Canyon Road) CR25E Bellvue
  • CR69 & Highway 14

The High Park Fire was first spotted at around 6 a.m. Saturday. Crews had to hike through difficult terrain to first reach the area.

Lightning cause the High Park Fire.

The Governor also spoke about the dry conditions in Colorado. He said there’s a possibility of larger fire bans and restrictions for the Fourth of July holiday.

See if your county is under a fire ban

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