Evening Update for the High Park Fire - 6/26/12
Evening Update for the High Park Fire - 6/26/12
The High Park Fire is estimated at 87,284 acres with 65 percent containment. The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at 33.1 million dollars. There are 1,805 fire personnel assigned to the firefighting effort. Equipment resources include: 10 Type 1 hand crews, 18 Type 2 hand crews, 156 engines, 11 dozers and 24 water tenders. Air Resources include; 7 Type I (heavy) helicopters, 3 Type II (medium) helicopters, 6 Type III (light) helicopters, 1 Type II helicopter with a radiometric imaging system attached, fixed wing support aircraft, and available heavy air tankers.
Persistent hot, dry weather continues to dry out both live and dead fuels. Variable wind direction and speed, with thunderstorm gusts are causing active torching in islands. Isolated and group tree torching with short duration crown fire are occurring at all hours. Line improvement and structure protection efforts were made on all portions of the fire. A mobile sensing helicopter is being utilized to locate residual heat in the unburned islands in the interior of the fire, to assist in focused mop-up operations to facilitate future re-entry of residents. "Mop up" refers to the use of water and tools to ensure that the fire is thoroughly extinguished in a particular area.
On all portions of the fire, line reinforcement, holding, mop-up and structure protection to maintain existing control lines will continue. The remote sensing data will be utilized to focus mop-up around structures and unburned islands in the interior of the burn area. Within evacuated subdivisions, fire personnel are working with local utilities to assess re-entry potential and to mitigate hazards to establish safe re-entry. Fire personnel are working with resource advisors to evaluate and identify potential line rehabilitation actions.
The total of homes destroyed to date remains at 257.
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. 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.
Fire officials today reopened a section of Red Feather Lakes Road (CR74E) from CR37 to Maxwell Ranch Road, which allowed a small number of residents to return to their homes.
Officials also reopened the Poudre Park neighborhood along Highway 14 between Manners Lane and Hewlett Gulch Road, which allowed numerous residents to return to their homes.
A large reintegration is planned for the Rist Canyon area at 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 28th. Several hundred residents will be allowed back to their homes in numerous neighborhoods. Over 700 notifications were made this afternoon. Residents are encouraged to attend the upcoming citizen briefings for critical safety, communications and utility information.
Residents will need credentials to enter the area when it opens. To facilitate the issuance of credentials, and to avoid last minute delays, credentials may be obtained in advance at the citizen briefings. Citizen briefings will be held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, June 27th and 28th. The briefings will be held at the Cache La Poudre Middle School, located at 3515 W. CR54G in La Porte. Credentials may also be obtained between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday.
The Rist Canyon areas to be opened are described below:
- Rist Canyon Road (and adjoining roads) from Whale Rock Road west to Stove Prairie Road.
- Old Flowers Road from Stove Prairie Road to the 8000 block of Old Flowers Road.
- Stove Prairie Road north from Rist Canyon Road to Bent Timber Lane.
All residents returning to their homes need to remain vigilant and consider themselves in a pre-evacuation status until otherwise notified.
The Following Roads Recently Opened with Restricted Access:
- Hwy. 14 from Missile Silo Road to Hewlett Gulch Road (Poudre Park residents)
The Following Roads Recently Opened With No Restrictions:
- Redstone Canyon Road (CR25E) and adjoining roads, north to Christ Mountain Road
A Red Flag Warning remains in effect until 9 p.m. Tuesday. Hot and dry weather is expected to continue with possible late afternoon thundershowers. The persistent hot and dry weather will continue to dry out fuels that are already at critical levels.
Resident Information (Meetings, Evacuation Notices and Evacuation Lift Notices):
Citizen Briefings will be at 5 p.m. at the Cache La Poudre Middle School, 3515 W. CR54G in Laporte.
The next media briefing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. It will be held at the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science, located at 3915 W. Laporte Avenue in Fort Collins.
A media tour of the High Park Fire area has been planned for June 27th, following the regular 9:30 media briefing. It is hoped that media members can tour the southwest area of the fire, where the main firefighting efforts are being concentrated. It should be noted that this tour is dependent upon the fire's behavior between the time of this writing and the beginning of the tour. The tour is expected to last 3 to 4 hours. **Note: PPE required**
Cooperating and Assisting Agencies
Larimer County Sheriff's Office, Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado Department of Public Safety, Colorado State Parks, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado State University Police Department, Fort Collins Police Services, National Guard Military Police, City of Fort Collins, Colorado State University, Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, Poudre Fire Authority, Loveland Fire Rescue, Glacier View Volunteer Fire Department, Poudre Canyon Fire Protection District, and United States Geological Survey. There are also numerous utility companies and support agencies involved with infrastructure recovery efforts.
The Rist Canyon, Glacier View and Poudre Canyon Volunteer Fire Departments are looking for donations to help defray the costs of firefighters assigned to the High Park Fire. To make a donation, please visit their websites at:
Glacier View Fire -www.glacierviewfiredept.com
Rist Canyon Fire - www.rcvfd.org
Poudre Canyon Fire - www.poudrecanyonfiredistrict.org
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.
Photo and Video Links:
Photos and Video from the National Guard of the High Park Fire are available at the following sites:
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 9 a.m. to 6 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 during the day and evening, and at www.larimer.org or on Twitter @ larimersheriff or Inciweb at www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/.
Find out if your loved ones are safe here (Red Cross Safe and Well Registry):
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 http://www.larimer.org/health/
Public Information Officer
Larimer County Sheriff's Office