This thing is crazy, I can see it burning on the slopes to the west from me about 15 miles away. The thing has just blown up and is a really erratic fire. Hopefully we get some rain tonight to help the firefighters out.
The High Park fire in Larimer County has burned almost 37,000 acres — and damaged or destroyed more than 100 structures.
Roughly 400 firefighters are battling the blaze today.
There is no containment of the fire, which is burning in the mountains about 15 miles west of Fort Collins.
"The hope for containment today is tenuous — totally dependent on the weather," said Bill Hahnenberg, the federal official who took over management of the fire today. "We may be at zero percent tonight."
Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said at a late morning briefing that he'd received "very bad reports up in the Rist Canyon area" and said preliminary estimates were that 100 structures had been damaged or destroyedin that area alone.
"It is a very aggressive fire, fuel driven, wind driven, and the winds have not been favorable," said Nick Christensen, a Larimer County Sheriff's Office spokesman. "The brush, timber and grasses are very, very, dry."
Firefighters are hoping that cooler weather, calmer winds, and higher humidity today will help, Christensen said.
The fire has been moving at 20- to 40-feet per-minute, or up to one- mile per-hour, a fast pace for fires, Christensen said. Flame heights have been reported between 15 to 20 feet, with reports of crowning up to 300 feet.
Firefighters are getting additional air resources today, including five heavy tankers, five single-engine air tankers, and at least five helicopters, with more copters on order.
Hahnenberg, the Type-One Incident Management Team commander, said more firefighters are on the way.
"We are here to do whatever we can to limit the affects of the fire," Hahnenberg said.
Command plans to have a total of 500 firefighters on the ground tomorrow and perhaps as many as 600 by Wednesday.
"We can use more firefighters and we expect them to arrive today and tomorrow," Hahnenberg said at a media briefing just before
Even with better weather conditions, compared to the weekend, and more manpower and equipment, the fire is expected to grow.
"We are going to have a lot of fire growth," Hahnenberg said.
It will "grow dramatically," he warned.
Areas where homes or structures have been burned include: Rist Canyon, Stove Prairie (along Old Flowers Road), Paradise Park, Poudre Canyon and Poudre Park.
New evacuation orders this morning include the area south of Larimer County Road 38E from Gindler Ranch Road west to Milner Ranch Road, according to the High Park Fire website. The area is located south and west of the Horsetooth
Larimer County Road 38E is now closed from Masonville to Harmony Road at the junction of Taft Hill Road.
At least 18 structures have been burned or damaged and multiple other structures remain under threat.
"That number is going to go significantly higher," Christensen said.
Firefighters and emergency personnel have been concentrating on life safety and structure protection. Today, with more equipment and more firefighters available, authorities are planning to make strides in fire suppression.
About 2,600 telephone notifications on the fire have gone out since it started, including
One person has been reported missing in the fire.
"We have a burned out structure," Smith said. "The individual would have most likely been within the structure."
Authorities have not released the missing person's name. Investigators will be focusing on the burned structure connected to the missing person, Smith said.
"To find evidence and remnants of a human body could be difficult," Smith said.
The fire is believed to have started from a lightning strike about 6 a.m. Saturday. It grew to more than 31 square miles within a day of being reported.
Lou DeAngelis, 47, a sculptor, said he evacuated his dream home in Rist Canyon on
DeAngelis has been trying to find out the status of his home, but so far he's not been able to get any specific information on his address.
"To me it's very frustrating, we have the technology to see if a man is living in a cave in Afghanistan, but you can't tell me if my home is intact.
"It's difficult to know what to do now," DeAngelis said. "They need to give people accurate information. I just want a simple answer."
At this point, DeAngelis wants to be allowed back in the fire zone so he can view his home, or what's left of it.
"If I choose to go up there, that's my choice as a life form on this planet," DeAngelis said.
Winds in the area today could gust as high as 24 mph, according to the National Weather Service. The high temperature should be about 70 degrees. A few weak thunderstorms are in the afternoon forecast, but rainfall, if any, should be short and light.
Smoke from the fire has been causing problems, and health concerns, and it has forced the temporary closure of several parks including Horsetooth Reservoir, Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, and Eagle's Nest Open Space, according to Larimer County officials.
Local campers with reservations for tonight and tomorrow are asked to call 1 800-397-7795 to change or cancel plans. Evacuees who need help with boarding animals should call Advanced Animal Care at 970-449-8029, since the Larimer Humane Society is at capacity.
Read more:Colorado wildfire: High Park fire near Fort Collins devours 37,000 acres - The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_20831039/high-park-fire-colorado-wildfire-near-fort-collins#ixzz1xWfeZGWs