Mapped fire size increases by 12 percent overnight
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Firefighters struggled Wednesday to maintain 55 percent containment at the High Park Fire in Larimer County, making progress in some areas, but watching the fire grow along the western edge, where it’s burning beetle-killed trees and moving into a remote wilderness area with little access for firefighters.
Mapping released Thursday morning showed the size of the fire at more than 68,000 acres, an increase of about 12 percent from Wednesday.
Winds out of the east pushed the fire to the west and helicopters were brought in early Thursday morning to attack several spot fires out ahead of the main fire front.The goal is to contain the fire south of Highway 14, east of Pingree Park Road, and north of Old Flowers Road.
Fire crews are looking for a weather window to intentionally burn fuels between the edge of the fire and the roads to slow the advance of the flames.
Travel along Highway 14 has been hampered by falling rocks and debris in Poudre Canyon, leading to temporary closures.
Firefighers hope to step up the pace of their attack Thursday with favorable weather conditions prevailing in the area. Cooler temps and somewhat higher relative humidity could help slow the spread of the fire, although winds out of the southeast could lead more growth to northwest, the most active part of the fire.
More dangerous conditions return Friday, with a red flag fire warning and hot and dry conditions expected through the weekend.