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Most Destructive Fire in Colorado History Devours 90 Sq Miles

Posted by feww on June 18, 2012

High Park Fire near Fort Collins, CO, consumes about 57,000 acres, destroys 100s of homes

The most destructive fire in Colorado history has destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes, as a large portion of the western and southwestern U.S. were placed under Red Flag Warnings due to high temperatures and strong winds.

At least 181 homeowners have so far been notified they have lost their homes. The areas were the destruction occurred include  the Davis Ranch, Stove Prairie, Stratton Park, Pine Acres, Soldier Canyon, Missile Silo Road, Cloudy Pass, Picnic Rock, Spring Valley, Old Flowers, Whale Rock, Paradise Park, Tip Top, Rist Creek Rist Canyon, Poudre Fire Authority District along the Front Range and Poudre Canyon from Stove Prairie to the mouth of Poudre Canyon. “The assessment is still underway and this number will continue to grow,” said the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Fire activity increased with the winds Sunday afternoon, USFS reported. Temperatures are expected in the 90’s with winds gusting to 50MPH on ridgetops and in Poudre Canyon beginning Monday morning (local time).

Looters are reportedly targeting evacuated homes, and police have made at least one arrest.


U.S. Weather Hazards Map. Red Flag Warnings issued for 9 lower states and Hawaii.  “Fire weather conditions will worsen today across much of the interior West. Red Flag Warnings are in effect for the Sierra Nevada Mountains across the central Rockies and into the High Plains of Nebraska. This will be especially problematic for firefighters battling the High Park Wildfire near Fort Collins, Colorado. This fire is already the most destructive in Colorado history,” NWS said.

EVACUATION INFORMATION (provided by Inciweb)

6:30 PM – A new mandatory re-evacuation order has just been issued for the Soldier Canyon and Mill Canyon areas. This includes Lodgepole Drive and CR 23 west and south including Red Cedar Drive, and east to CR 23.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued earlier today for residents in the Hewlett Gulch subdivision area. The area runs from the Glacier View 9-12 filings (already evacuated) east to the Hewlett Gulch Trail, north to CR 74E and south to HWY 14.

Cloudy Pass residents were allowed to return home as of noon 6/15 (no credentials required). Residents in the Poudre Canyon up to Gateway park area (east of Gateway) were allowed to return as of 2 PM 6/15.

Around 5 PM Friday, fire officials lifted the evacuation order for Satanka Cove, located at the north end of Horsetooth Reservoir.

Thursday fire officials issued an evacuation order for the 9th, 10th and 11th filings of Glacier View, to include the area west from Eiger Road to Rams Horn Mountain Road and north from the Mount Blanc Guardian Peak area to the north end of Mount Everest Drive. Fire officials also ordered evacuations of 80 residences along Many Thunders Road and south into the 12th Filing of Glacier View. Roads included in this evacuation include Meadow Mountain Drive, Little Bald Mountain Court, Grey’s Peak Court, Diamond Peak Court, Little Twins Court, Red Mountain Court, Pingree Hill Court, Rabbit Ears Court, Bullrock Court and Black Mountain Court. The road block will be located at Eiger (Glacier View Gate 1) and Many Thunders Mountain Road. An additional roadblock is located at Green Mountain Drive (Glacier View Gate 1) at CR 74E.

CR 74E remains open and a pre-evacuation alert remains in effect for the rest of Glacier View subdivision (including the area north of CR 74E), and the area south of CR 74E between Hewlett Gulch Road to the east and CR 68C to the west and HWY 14 to the south.

Evacuated residents looking to evacuate animals must contact the humane society at 226-3647. Again, do not show up at road blocks to attempt to gain access to care for or evacuate animals.

Evacuation orders remain in place for the following areas:

-Pingree Park Road, Hourglass and Comanche reservoirs, east on Buckhorn Road up to and including Pennock Pass, NE to junction with Stove Prairie and Hwy 14; West to junction with Highway 15 and Pingree Park Road

-County Road 44H (Buckhorn Road) from County Road 27 to Pennock Pass and residents to the south approximately 3/4 – 1 mile.

-Areas south and west of Bellvue to include the Lory State Park area, the Redstone Canyon area and Buckhorn Road up to the Stove Prairie School.

-Poudre Canyon from MM111 to MM118 on Highway 14. This means Poudre Canyon from Stove Prairie to MM118 is under mandatory evacuations.

-The area between CR 27E and Stove Prairie Road and south through the entire Rist Canyon area including Davis Ranch Road, Whale Rock Road.

-South on County Road 44H 3 miles to just north of Stringtown Gulch Road, Paradise Park Road, Moose Horn Lane, Magic Lane and Spencer Mountain Road.

-Old Flowers Road from Stove Prairie Road to the 8000-block of Old Flowers Road.

-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.

-Hewlett Gulch, King’s Canyon area and Boyd Gulch Road.

Approximately 3,100 notifications (contacts, not residences) have been sent for evacuations on this fire. As of Friday, 1,199 notifications (contacts, not residents) were sent notifying residences that they could return home.

Other Significant Wildfires

  • Springer Fire, a new wildfire which erupted on Sunday in the Pike National Forest in Colorado, has consumed more than 450 acres and is rapidly growing, USFS reported.
    • The blaze has forced the mandatory evacuations of about 500 Boy Scouts camping in the area and nearby  subdivisions, USFS said.
  • North Schell Fire, Ely District, Nevada.  The blaze started Saturday June 9th, 2012 and has grown to about 25,000 acres with EXTREME growth potential.
  • Little Bear Fire, Lincoln National Forest, NM. The blaze has grown to more than 38,000 acres but is reportedly 60% contained.
    • Mandatory evacuation in place at all  campgrounds west of Bonito Lake; Angus and Bonita Park, USFS reported.
  • Whitewater Baldy Complex Fire, Reserve Ranger District, NM.  The state’s largest historical fire has grown to about300,000 acres and is reportedly 80% contained. However, the blaze is said to have a HIGH growth potential.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events


Typhoon GUCHOL. Source: CIMSS


Tropical Storm TALIM. Source: CIMSS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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