Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland
U.S. Forest Service
2150 Centre Avenue Building E
Fort Collins, CO 80526
The Cameron Peak fire ignited on August 13 on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest near Cameron Pass and Chambers Lake. Severe weather coupled with dry forest conditions created extreme fire behavior and caused a major run on September 6th and 7th. A cold front with freezing temperatures and snow stalled fire growth temporarily. The fire is expected to pick up again as hot and dry weather conditions return toward the end of the week. On Saturday, September 12th, the Southwest Area Incident Management Team 3 assumed command of the fire.
|Current as of|
|Cause||Unknown, Under Investigation|
|Date of Origin||Thursday August 13th, 2020 approx. 01:48 PM|
|Location||15 miles SW of Red Feather Lakes, CO|
|Incident Commander||Dave Gesser, Southwest Area Team 3|
|Coordinates||40.609 latitude, -105.879 longitude|
|Percent of Perimeter Contained||15%|
Timber (Litter and Understory)
High elevation mixed conifer with moderate dead and down fuel loading, along with a high percentage of beetle-killed lodgepole. Lower elevation grass fuels are drying and more available to burn.
Wind Driven Runs
Fire activity continues to be fuel and terrain driven. Dead fuel moistures continue to drop as the forecasted weather pattern continues. Burning continues to be active in those areas that have heat and dry fuels.
Extreme fire behavior (crowning, uphill runs) was exhibited on the northern side of the fire approximately 7 miles SW of the community of Red Feather.
Fire activity increased in Division Lima based upon an increase in wind, topography, and dead fuels. Fire crossed the Killpecker containment line and is established heading in a NE direction. Mandatory evacuations were issued for the communities of Red Feather & Crystal Lakes and voluntary evacuations of Glacier View and surrounding communities. Fire activity, topography, bug-killed fuels and lack of crews and critical resources has made direct line tactics difficult to obtain. T1, T2 helicopters, large airtankers and SEATS are being used to assist with areas of heat primarily in the northwest portion of the fire in R, F, & L to prevent further spread until line construction can be completed. Resources are monitoring
|Projected Incident Activity|
12 hours: Terrain that aligns with the forecasted SW winds will help the fire activity to continue at a moderate to active level as the dead fuels continue to dry. The larger fuels continue to hold heat and will smolder through the night.
24 hours: Forecasted weather continues to dry all dead fuels. The potential for isolated storm cells with gusty down drafts may increase fire spread where there are available fuels. SW winds will influnce the fire along with the terrain in the 517 Road area towards the South, Middle and North Bald Mountains.
48 hours: Fire activity will be moderate to active as the weather pattern continues to dry available fuels. Westerly low wind speeds will continue to impact the fire and help the fire follow available fuels and terrain.
72 hours: Temperature and RH's will hold steady over the next few days. This will slow fire activity, but moderate rates of spread could follow available fuels and terrain.
Anticipated after 72 hours: With a high pressure system over the fire area we will return to within near normal temperatures and RHs. The chance of isolated thunder storms will start to develop and could bring strong gusty winds near or over the fire.
Current 72 hours:
Another elevated fire weather day on Sunday as the fire saw strong southwest and west winds all day. Winds were in the 15 to 20 mph range across exposed areas with, gusts to 30 mph and above. These winds, combined with another day of fairly low relative humidity, made for challenging weather on the fire. Moisture was quite limited making for fewer clouds and lower shower and storm chances. Therefore the fire stayed rain-free. Minimum relative humidities bottomed out in the upper teens to mid-twenty percent range.
Monday and Tuesday should bring lower winds, but still some breezy conditions across the fire from the west. In addition, an increase in moisture and afternoon instability is expected. This will help to bring a few more clouds and slight chances for rain and storms on Monday. Tuesday a passing disturbance is expected to increase both clouds and rain chances with probabilities for rain and storms as high as 50 percent across the fire. This will also lower temperatures and elevate relative humidity. Rain amounts are currently projected to fall short of a tenth of an inch, meaning the rain will not be wetting for most of the fire.
Wednesday looks like yet another day with marginally windy conditions, as winds shift to northwest behind a passing disturbance. Lingering, but lesser, moisture over the region will allow for one more day of isolated afternoon showers and thunderstorms, before dry conditions return for the rest of the week. Thursday and Friday look to warm and dry significantly as high pressure aloft rebounds over the area. Temperatures will warm to well above normal, as relative humidity falls back into the teens. Wind speeds should begin to lower, but afternoon mixing will allow for some breezy conditions over the higher terrain.