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Firefighters slow northward run of High Park Fire

Officials confirm destruction of 57 additional homes

High Park Fire, June 24.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Firefighters at the High Park Fire in Larimer County, Colorado said Sunday they made good progress in containing the fire’s latest surge to the north — but not before the fire destroyed an additional 57 homes in the Glacier View – Hewlett Gulch area during a furious run last Friday that burned an additional 15 square miles.

According to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, the 83,200-acre fire has now destroyed a total of 248 homes, the most ever affected by a single fire in Colorado. The fire grew only by about 3,000 acres during the weekend, but hundreds of residents in the area are still under evacuation orders. Continue reading

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Colorado: Aerial ignitions, heavy ground equipment and burnouts used to control western flank of High Park Fire

Steep terrain, difficult access and beetle-kill creating challenges

The June 15 High Park Fire map posted by Larimer County.

A feller-buncher working in the forest. PHOTO COURTESY USFS.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —Firefighters at the western edge of the High Park Fire will use aerial ignitions, burn-out operations and heavy equipment to remove trees from the fire’s path in their efforts to quell the fire,  protect structures and ensure firefighter safety.

The fire, sparked by lightning more than a week ago, grew by another 2,000 acres Friday, mostly on the western flank where steep terrain, where limited access, and  dense stands of beetle-killed trees are of concern to fire officials, according to the latest InciWeb.org update.The fire is reported as 20 percent contained, with more than 1,500 firefighters on-scene. Continue reading

Colorado: 6th airtanker brought in to fight High Park Fire

Crews battle to keep the fire from spreading north of Poudre Canyon

Colorado High Park Fire map June 14

A map of Colorado High Park Fire as of 10 p.m. June 13 shows the active areas especially on the western edge of the fire. PHOTO COURTESY MARK NEWBY. Click to visit the full-size version on the Black Ice Geospatial website.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Hot shot crews, air tankers and helicopters working the High Park Fire focused on preventing the spread of a spot fire on the north side of Poudre Canyon.

The spot fire is less than 100 acres but is located in steep terrain and timber, with ground crews having a hard time accessing the area. Air support will focus in this area today and five, Type 1 hotshot crews are also assigned to the spot fire.

Winds shifting to asoutheasterly direction could drive the fire to new areas, especially on the west side, where fire officials have expressed concern about high concentrations of flammable beetle-killed trees. Fire officials have characterized this part of the fire as being “extremely active.” Continue reading

Firefighters gaining ground on Colorado High Park Fire

10 percent containment reported; residents refusing evacuation have hampered firefighting efforts in some areas

The High Park Fire is still spreading to the north and west.

Firefighters work to protect a home in the High Park Fire Area. Click on the image to see the InciWeb High Park Fire photo gallery. PHOTO COURTESY INCIWEB.

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. Continue reading

Colorado: High Park Fire 5 percent contained

Hot spots north of Poudre Canyon a concern

An updated map of the High Park Fire created by Summit Voice contributor Mark Newby. Click on the map to visit Newby’s website, http://www.blackicegeospatial.com.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — High Park Fire incident commander Bill Hahnenberg said crews have managed managed to establish containment lines on about 5 percent of the fire’s 40-mile perimeter, and hope to reach 10 percent containment by the end of the day.

He cautioned that if the fire becomes especially active, those containment figures could change. Crews could gain ground in some areas, but lose control other places, depending in large part on winds, he explained.

So far, the operational cost of the fire stands at about $1.6 million, with about 30 percent of the fire impacting national forest lands, and 70 percent affecting private lands.

Hahnenberg took charge of the firefighting efforts as leader of a Type 1 Incident Management team assembled to fight the most complex wildfires. As commander, he works directly for the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and the Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest supervisor.

“This is a very high priority fire, and we’re not having any problems getting the resources we need,” Hahnenberg said, explaining that there could be as many as 700 to 800 firefighters on scene by Wednesday. Continue reading

Colorado: High Park Fire slows down

Air support helps protect threatened homes in the area; one death reported, 118 structures destroyed or damaged

High Park Fire map

Summit Voice contributor Mark Newby created this updated map of the High Park Fire in Larimer County, Colorado. Click on the image for more maps and information at http://www.blackicegeospatial.com.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — After two days of explosive growth, the High Park Fire in Larimer County, Colorado, slowed dramatically Monday, as the winds died back and aerial firefighting units, including five heavy air tankers, made a concerted effort to halt the advancing flames.

In an early morning tweet, the Larimer County Sheriff’s office said the fire’s footprint is now at 43,400 acres (about 67 square miles), “with some containment.”

“We should have a little bit of good news at the (Tuesday) morning briefing,” said Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, explaining that crews were able to establish an anchor point and start building hand lines at the southwest corner of the fire.

Continue reading

Colorado: High Park Fire uncontained at 37,000 acres

Front Range wildfire behaving unexpectedly; firefighters hope to gain a toehold on containment Monday

High Park Fire footprint and perimeter as of early Monday morning. MAP COURTESY MARK NEWBY. Click on the image to visit the map on the web. The map is based on data from an overflight at 12:20 a.m. and data released by the USFS 6:52 a.m. The fire has burned another seven hours since then, so it has likely grown even larger.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — After two days of watching the High Park fire spread and even double back on itself, firefighters late Sunday night said that with lower winds forecast Monday, they hope to at least gain a toehold against the fire which grew to 37,000 acres in just two days, according to the latest InciWeb update released Monday morning.

Get the latest updates on the fire at Larimer County emergency services website and at the InciWeb.org national fire information website. Real-time updates are also streaming on Twitter from @LarimerSheriff and at the #HighParkFire hashtag. Continue reading

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