High Park Fire - Morning Update 10:30 a.m. on 6/20/12
Release Date: Jun 20, 2012
Public Information Officer
Larimer County Sheriff's Office
Morning Update for the High Park Fire 6/20/12 @ 10:30 a.m.
The High Park Fire is estimated at 65,738 acres with 55% containment. The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at $17.2 million dollars.
** Fire officials have issued an all-clear for Soldier Canyon and Mill Canyon Estates effective at 10:00 am today, June 20th. Residents will need to show identification to gain access to the area. All residents are asked to remain on alert. If fire conditions worsen, this area may be required to evacuate again. Power has been restored to this area. ** (301 notifications sent).
Residents in area south of Horsetooth have been allowed back in. This is the Milner Ranch Road to Gindler Ranch. This is NOT to be confused with the Stratton Park area, which is still under evacuation.
1,911 personnel are working on the fire with a 24-hour work schedule in place. 17 helicopters are assisting ground crews and supporting suppression and any necessary medical evacuation efforts. Emphasis is on structure protection throughout the fire area and is still a high priority.
A spot fire in the NW corner of the fire (over Poudre Canyon Road/HWY 14) triggered a Pre-Evacuation for the Rustic area. 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. This includes a road called Rustic Road, which runs south off of Hwy 14 (just west of Glen Echo). Residents in this area need to evacuate west on Hwy 14 to Walden if a mandatory evacuation becomes necessary.
Utility companies are working in areas to re-establish power where it is safe to do so. They will be in areas where they can make permanent fixes, not in areas where there is a re-evacuation or high fire activity.
It should be noted that yesterday, June 19th, the Board of Larimer County Commissioners added additional fire restrictions on Open Fires, Contained Open Fires and the Sale and Use of Fireworks and Public Fireworks Displays for the unincorporated areas of Larimer County through September 30, 2012.
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.
Night shift crews reported that the fire burned actively on the west flank. Firefighters have held the fire along Pingree Park Road with the exception of a 5 to 10 acre spot, which they are currently working on to contain. Today crews will work to hold the fire along Pingree Park Road on the west flank as well as containing the spot fire, near Sheep Mountain, north of Poudre Canyon. On the southeast flank, crews will work on line construction in the Redstone Canyon area. Other priorities include holding the fire south of the Poudre Canyon and north of Buckhorn Road.
Structure protection within the fire perimeter remains a priority. Firefighters will use infrared technology to identify areas of concern. Infrared flights have been flown nightly to provide important information to firefighters. This infrared imager identifies areas of heat along the fire perimeter and within the interior. It also shows the intensity of the heat and provides satellite coordinates for the heat sources. In a large fire, this helps firefighters pinpoint the areas that need additional work. The central and eastern zones of the fire show a few areas of isolated heat sources, with much of the intense heat occurring on the southeast, west and northwest flanks.
Two cool fronts pushed across the fire area through the night, bringing cooler air and slightly higher humidity. The east side of the fire is cloud covered with relative humidity near 70 percent. The central and west zones of the fire have relative humidity in the teens. Today's high temperatures are expected to be in the 70's with relative humidity of 13 to 16 percent. Winds are expected to be out of the east, shifting to the southeast at 10 to 15 MPH.
After another assessment of homes earlier this week, there are eight additional homes confirmed destroyed in the Buckhorn area down to Redstone Canyon for a total of 189 homes destroyed to date, but we anticipate this number could go up once the official assessment is complete.
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. 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. 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.
For reference, after containment is reached, personnel will wait at least 24 hours before they start to consider reentry into that area as they must wait at least 24 hours for the area to cool down before evaluation can begin to determine if people can return to the evacuated areas.
Road Closure Information:
· A Glacier View Informational meeting will be held tonight, June 20th, at 7:00 p.m. at 1417 Green Mountain Drive, Gate 8 in Glacier View.
· For residents who have evacuated livestock and large animals that are currently housed at The Ranch, there will be two informational meetings on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at The Ranch inside of the Ranch-Way Feeds Indoor Arena in the grandstands. The first meeting will be at 4:00 P.M. and again at 6:00 P.M. for those who can't make the 4:00 P.M. meeting.
The Ranch Staff, Larimer County Sheriff's Posse, Larimer Humane Society and CSU Ambulatory Vets will be available to answer questions regarding logistics and operations. They will also discuss animal care and would like to deliver some information on how to better serve the animals on-site, get feed-back from those that are using the facilities at The Ranch, and plan for future meetings.
· There will be a media advisory panel tomorrow, June 21st, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. at the High Park Fire Incident Command Post, located at 3342 West Laporte in Fort Collins. This discussion panel will be an opportunity to listen and pose questions to Fire Chiefs of departments directly involved with the High Park Fire.
· There will be a media tour of the High Park Fire area today after 4:00 p.m. media briefing (at CSU Department of Atmospheric Science Building, 3915 W. Laporte in Fort Collins). There will be a Caravan escorted into the fire area that will head up to Missile Silo Road area.
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/
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