High Park Fire Update: June 18 at 11:30 AM (#HighParkFire)

Information from High Park Fire Public Information Officer

The High Park Fire is still estimated at 58,046 acres with 45% containment. 1,748 personnel are working on the fire day and night with a 24-hour work schedule in place. In addition there are 17 helicopters assigned to the fire. Four heavy air tankers are available and will be utilized to protect values at risk if needed. 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.

The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at $12.6 million dollars.

A mandatory evacuation was issued yesterday 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

Fire Behavior:

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.

On the north end of the fire, a spot fire burned 8 acres in the Mishawaka area. Crews will be supported with helicopter water drops today to prevent additional spread.

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.


A Red Flag Warning is in effect from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. 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.

Structures damaged:

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

On Sunday, additional homes have been reported as lost. There needs to be additional assessment work done in Rist Canyon and Redstone areas. Initial information is one home lost in Redstone and two additional homes lost in Rist Canyon. This is in addition to the 181 homes already confirmed as lost.

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:

Hwy 14 (Poudre Canyon) is closed from Rustic to Gateway Park.

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

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

CR 44H (Buckhorn Rd) from CR27 west.

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

CR 23 North near North Horsetooth Reservoir (South Centennial/CR23 is open)

Forest Service Rd 152 (Old Flowers Road)

Road off 74E including Many Thunders Road, Eiger Road, Green Mountain Road and Gate 1

CR63E Pingree Park Road and Crown Point Road from Hwy 14

Roads south of CR74E are closed. This includes areas south and east of McNay Hill, Hewlett Gulch
Road, Deer Meadow Way, Gordon Creek Lane and all connecting roads in that area.

Open Roads with Restricted Access:

Roads in the area of CR27 are open from Masonville to Big Bear Road to residents only. (Excludes Otter Road).

CR29C and McMurray Ranch Road.

Hwy 14 from Hwy 287 to Gateway Park - Residents Only.

Roads Open:

Red Feather Lakes Road/CR 74E
Highway 287

Additional Information:

Horsetooth Reservoir is open to the public; however, Horsetooth Mountain Open Space remains closed.

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/.

For the latest updated map of the High Park Fire, check out this link: http://larimer.org/highparkfire/highpark_0617_2200.pdf

Residents are reminded to receive emergency notifications on cell phones or email and should visit the website at www.leta911.org.

For complete information on this emergency, see http://larimer.org/emergency/emergency_detail.cfm?nam_id=85

Media Briefing

 The 4:00 p.m. Media Briefing for today (Monday, June 18th) will be held at the Colorado State University Department of Atmospheric Science Building, located at 3915 West Laporte Avenue in Fort Collins.