High Park Fire Update: June 19 at 10:30 AM (#HighParkFire)

Information from the High Park Fire Public Information Officers

The High Park Fire is estimated at 59,500 acres with 50% containment. Thanks to the firefighters who continue to work so hard in such extreme temperatures (90+ degree heat) to continue our fire suppression progress! 1,773 personnel are working on the fire day and night with a 24-hour work schedule in place. Emphasis is on structure protection throughout the fire area is still a high priority.


Fire officials have issued a new pre-evacuation order for the area of Hwy 14 from the Pingree Park Road west to approximately mile marker 90, just west of the Glen Echo Resort. Residents in this area need to be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice. Again, this is a pre-evacuation and all residents in this area need to be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice. This includes a road called Rustic Road, which runs south off of Hwy 14 (just west of Glen Echo). IF residents need to evacuation, they will need to go west on Hwy 14 to Walden. (95 Notifications sent) A spot fire in the NW corner of the fire (over Poudre Canyon Road -Hwy 14) is what triggered a pre-evacuation alert for this area.

The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at $14.7 million dollars. The cause of the fire was a lightning strike on private land.

After another assessment of homes last night, there are now eight additional homes confirmed lost in the Buckhorn area down to Redstone Canyon. This brings the total of homes lost to 189.

There are roaming patrols, National Guard personnel and video surveillance being used to ensure that residences in the burn area remain safe and are not targets of looting.

Fire Behavior:

Today’s predicted weather will provide a challenge for firefighters. Structure protection and mitigation around homes remains the top priority within and adjacent to the fire. Mitigation around structures well outside the fire area will continue as a precaution in the event that the fire continues to grow.

Containment lines on the east flank of the fire continue to hold. On the north and south flanks, firefighters will continue to work to hold the fire between Buckhorn Road and Poudre Canyon. Good progress is being made on containment lines on the southeast edge where the fire crossed the line on Sunday. To the west of the fire, contingency lines along Pingree Park Road and Forest Road 135 are being improved and will be used in the event that the fire pushes to the west.


A RED FLAG WARNING is in effect today until 9:00 p.m. Strong winds combined with a very dry air mass will result in critical fire weather once again. Relative humidity will run 5-9 percent. Winds will be light in the morning then increase throughout the day as a front pushes through the area. On the west side of the fire, west/southwest winds will shift to the west/northwest with gusts to 35 MPH. On the east/northeast side winds will shift to the southeast with gusts 20-30 MPH. As the winds meet over the fire area, dynamic swirling and possible whirlwinds are expected this afternoon.

Structures damaged:

After another assessment of homes yesterday, there are now eight additional homes confirmed destroyed in the Buckhorn area down to Redstone Canyon. This brings the total of homes destroyed to 189. 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. Formal assessment of structures is a methodical process and will continue for at least a couple of weeks. Some areas are still inaccessible due to fire activity and road hazards.

Areas still evacuated are being evaluated to determine when residents may re-enter. Factors being considered before lifting an evacuation include fire activity, utility repair, emergency traffic in the area, and road hazards such as falling rocks and trees.

For a complete list of areas that remain evacuated and roads that are closed, visit http://www.larimer.org/emergency/.

Road Closure Information:

Larimer County Sheriff's Office now 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.

Additional Information:

On Friday, June 15th, 2012, South Bay and Inlet Bay of Horsetooth Reservoir did open for camping and boating. Boat-in campsites remain closed until Wednesday morning, June 20th, 2012. All areas of Santanka Cove, at the north end of Horsetooth Reservoir, remain closed to access by both land and water. Boating on the north end of the reservoir will be restricted indefinitely in support of helicopter use for the High Park Fire. Buoys will be in place noting restricted areas on the water. As of June 19, 2012, boat-in campsites are open, no campfires are allowed at these sites.

Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, including Horsetooth Mountain Open Space Trailhead and Soderberg Trailhead are under a temporary indefinite closure at this time. This is also true of Eagle's Nest Open Space, which is also closed indefinitely at this time.

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.

Contact and Incident Information Sources:

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:

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 www.larimer.org

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

Media Briefing:

Media briefings will now be held at 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Colorado State University Atmospheric Science Building, located at 3915 West Laporte in Fort Collins

Jennifer Hillmann
Public Information Officer
Larimer County Sheriff's Office