10 percent containment reported; residents refusing evacuation have hampered firefighting efforts in some areas
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Firefighters battling the lightning-caused 44,000-acre High Park Fire gained some ground Tuesday, reporting 10 percent containment by the end of Tuesday.
In an evening update, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office also said firefighters were able to protect numerous individual structures still at-risk from the fire.
The progress made in fighting the flames is due to the massive amount of resources thrown at the fire, including 634 firefighters and 37 engines. Officials said they expect up to 100 engines to be on-scene by Wednesday. The cost of the fire to date is $3 million. About 70 percent of the fire has impacted non-federal lands, with 30 percent burning on national forest lands.
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office also lifted the evacuation orders for the area south of County Road 38E from Gindler Ranch Road west to Milner Ranch Road, where residents were free to return to their homes.
New evacuation notices were issued for the entire Pingree Park Road area, and the sheriff’s office firefighting efforts were being hampered by residents refusing to leave their homes in the Poudre Canyon area.
The north flank of the fire was active Tuesday, with some torching occurring. A 120- acre spot fire was contained. Back burning operations were conducted.
On the west side flank, the fire is moving into stands of trees killed by bark beetles. Freshly killed trees with red needles are highly flammable, but in some other fires around the west, fires have actually slowed when they’ve reached older beetle-killed stands where the trees have lost their needles.