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Colorado Blaze Devours 42,000 Acres in 60 Hrs

Posted by feww on June 12, 2012

High Park Fire in Larimer County, CO, consumes 42,000 acres in 2½ Days

The High Park Fire in Larimer County about 15 miles west of Fort Collins was sparked by lightning on Saturday June 11 and has already consumed an estimated 42,000 acres (~ 65 sq miles, 170 km²), destroying at least 120 structures. 

Flame lengths of 300 feet have been reported, with the fire moving at up to 40 feet per minute at times, Inciweb reported. The blaze is currently zero percent contained and the activity is expected to increase due to the “very, very dry fuels,” wind and fire weather conditions.

“The hope for containment today is tenuous — totally dependent on the weather,” said the incident commander. “We may be at zero percent tonight.”

Thousands of people have abandoned their homes amid demands by Colorado’s congressional delegation that the U.S. Forest Service commits more resources to the fire.

The blaze has claimed at least one life, as of posting.


Panorama of High Park fire from the 3rd floor of Rigden Farm Senior Living Complex, Southeast Fort Collins, 6:15 p.m. June 10, 2012.  Photo courtesy of Jane Thomson

Inciweb said,

Pre-evacuation planning is underway with Glacier View Fire but no pre-evacuation orders have been sent.

Fire movement toward the northwest portion of Horsetooth Reservoir has subsided, however fire activity has the potential to increase in the afternoon.

The evacuation center is located at the McKee Building at The Ranch.

Evacuation orders remain in place for the following areas:

-South of County Road 38E from Gindler Ranch Road west to Milner Ranch Road (325 notifications).

-County Road 38E is now closed from Masonville to Harmony Road at the junction of Taft Hill Road.

-Crystal Mountain area including Crystal Mountain Road and the Upper Buckhorn (24 notifications).

-Bonner Peak Subdivision (183 notifications)

-Buckhorn Rd from CR27 to Pennock Pass and residents to the south approximately 3/4-1 mile. (69 notifications).

-North of CR38E, from Horsetooth Reservoir to Redstone Canyon to Lory State Park. (326 notifications)

-Stove Prairie Road north along County Road 27 to Highway 14, east along Highway 14 to approximately mile marker 111, southeast to Rist Canyon Fire Station 1, then back west to to include Wilderness Ridge Way, Rist Creek Road, Spring Valley Road and County Road 41 and all of the roads that run off of it. All of Rist Canyon (west of 27E) and all roads off of it, including Whale Rock Road and Davis Ranch Road. South 3 additional miles on County Road 44H to just north of Stringtown Gulch Road.

-Poudre Park (along Highway 14) area from mile marker 111 to mile marker 118.

-Highway 14 from Ted’s Place to Stove Prairie is closed, as well as Stove Prairie Road and Rist Canyon.

-Sunday include all residents from County Road 27E to Bellvue and for the area south and west of Bellvue, including Lory State Park and Red Stone Canyon, and Buckhorn Road from Masonville up to Stove Prairie School. Evacuation ordered for CR 29C and McMurry Ranch Road (33 notifications).

Approximately 2,600 notifications (contacts, not residents) have been sent for evacuations on this fire.

An undetermined number of structures have been damaged or destroyed in Rist Canyon, Paradise Park, Stove Prairie, Poudre Park, Old Flowers, Stratton Park, Kings Canyon and Cloudy Pass. There could be structure damage in other locations, including Soldier Canyon and Mill Canyon. No details about the structures are available. Firefighters will continue to evaluate the area as it is safe to do so.

Evacuations have happened quickly.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • The U.S. Gulf Coast.Parts of Alabama and Florida received up to 2 feet of rain between midnight Saturday and 8:00am Monday, which caused severe flooding and extensive damage.
    • Numerous communities from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle have already been inundated, with the worst of flooding yet to follow as runoff continues and rivers begin rising.
    • Additional rainfall is expected in the area again today.
  • China.


Mustard Gas-like smog  envelops Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, June 11, 2012. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)


A flooded village in Huitong County, central China’s Hunan Province. Torrential rains pummeled southern China. As of noon Monday, 112,000 people had been affected and 26,000 people evacuated in Huitong county, which borders Guizhou province. The county is believed to have suffered direct economic losses of 230 million yuan. (Xinhua/Zhao Haibo. 

Related Links

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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