Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland
U.S. Forest Service
2150 Centre Avenue Building E
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Cameron Peak Fire Update
Tuesday, September 8, 2020 – 10:00 a.m.
Portland National Incident Management Organization
Bea Day, NIMO Incident Commander
Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Black
Troy Hagan, Team Black Incident Commander
Southwest Area Incident Management Team 3
Dave Gesser, Southwest Area Incident Management Team
Cameron Peak Fire surpasses 100k acres; cold front expected to slow fire activity
Current Situation: Low humidity, high temperatures, and high winds combined to produce extreme fire behavior on Monday pushing the Cameron Peak Fire to 102,596 acres. Early in the day, the Cameron Peak Fire moved across the indirect lines at Pingree Park continued eastward. The winds that were predicted for the day picked up early driving the fire and grounding aircraft. All resources were in a defensive posture throughout the day with most efforts focused on structure protection in areas expected to be impacted by the fire and strengthening indirect lines. An additional 50 engines were ordered for structure protection groups; those engines arrived throughout the day and were assigned to protection duties in the Pingree Park, Buckhorn, and Stove Prairie Road areas as well as Highway 14.
The situation in those areas evolved rapidly as the fire crossed the Pingree Park Road to the Buckhorn Road and moved north to Highway 14. Towards the end of the day, the finger of the fire that had been stalled out in Green Ridge north of Highway 14, moved northeast towards Kinikinik reaching and crossing the Roaring Creek drainage. The rapid changing fire situation resulted in the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office issuing multiple changes in evacuation orders within the surrounding communities as the fire moved past predetermined management action points.
Yesterday, the Type 2 Southwest Area Incident Management Team #3 (IMT), under Incident Commander Dave Gesser, traveled to the Cameron Peak Fire. As of 6 am today, the team has assumed command of the South Zone of the Cameron Peak Fire. They will focus on the portion of the fire within Rocky Mountain National Park. The team is working with RMNP, Estes Valley Fire Chief, Estes Park Police Chief, and Larimer County Sheriff to develop their operations plan for the upcoming days. The team will develop a plan to provide for firefighter and public safety while working to protect values at risk. They will also look at opportunities to directly engage the fire if they can do so safely should it continue to move through the National Park.
Today crews will be taking advantage of the cold temperatures and snow to assess the effects of the fire, monitor and suppress hot spots, and plan additional control lines in anticipation of temperatures warming and fuels drying in the coming week. Structure assessments will be ongoing as responders can gain access to the areas impacted by the fire. Notifications of property damage will be made by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office as losses are confirmed.
Weather & Fuel Conditions: A cold front has moved into the area overnight bringing cold temperatures and precipitation. The weather is expected to remain cold with rain and snow over the fire area for the next several days. The area will begin to warm by Friday as the precipitation will taper off and the fuels will begin to dry.
Closures and Evacuations: As of the time of this update mandatory evacuations are still in effect for: Lady Moon, Red Feather Highlands, Red Feather Lakes, Crystal Lakes, CR27 to Big Bear Rd, Rist Canyon Rd, Hwy 14 from Gateway to Stove Prairie Park, South of Deadman Road to Hwy 14 to the junction of 103 Rd and 190 Rd south, portions of the Rawah Wilderness and Neota Wilderness, and Road 156. Voluntary evacuations are still in effect for: Glen Haven, Storm Mountain, CR27 to Masonville, Buckskin Heights, and Laramie River Road from the junction of Laramie River Road and 190 Road north. This list is not comprehensive so please visit https://nocoalert.org for more information on evacuation areas and road closures. The Roosevelt NF has implemented a closure around the fire; a map of that closure area can be found at https://go.usa.gov/xGgxt. Rocky Mountain NP also has closures in effect; those can be found at https://go.usa.gov/xGgx6.
Fire Restrictions: The Canyon Lakes Ranger District is under Stage 2 fire restrictions. Please visit https://go.usa.gov/xGCfT to learn more. Rocky Mountain National Park has implemented a complete fire ban and an area closure. For information please see https://go.usa.gov/xGCfb. Larimer County also has a fire ban in place through September 18, 2020. More information is available at https://tinyurl.com/y332jsoy. A statewide open fire ban is also in effect for the State of Colorado.
Temporary Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Cameron Peak Fire. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Whenever a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of the area. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.
Cameron Peak Fire Statistics:
Size: 102,596 acres
Total Personnel: 840
Location: 25 mi E of Walden; 15 mi SW of Redfeather Lakes, CO
Reported: August 13
Cause: Under investigation
For More Information:
Information Office: (970) 541-1008, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Media Inquiries: 970-541-0563
Interactive StoryMap: https://arcg.is/1ayXeD0
Smoke Update: https://tinyurl.com/y2duao6r