CASPER, Wyo — On Sunday morning, the Cameron Peak Fire in Colorado’s Poudre Canyon has burned fire has burned 10,867 acres, according to U.S. Forest Service’s update on Inciweb. No structures or campgrounds have been damaged.
The fire is 0% contained and advancing on all fronts this afternoon, mostly along the Laramie River Road corridor, according to a social media update page established Blue Team of Rocky Mountain Incident Command.
Speaking during an update at 5:30 pm Sunday., August 16, Beau Kidd, operations section chief trainee for Blue Team, said the fire was moving too actively for direct perimeter control, which involves installing lines at the direct edge at the fire.
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Heavy equipment is being used along Deadman and Pearl Beaver roads to clear roadside vegetation to create fuel breaks for future containment lines. These indirect tactics are used when fire behavior is too extreme, creating unsafe conditions for firefighters to work directly along the fire line.
Kidd said the fire crossed to the south side of Colorado Highway 14 in a second location Saturday. and established itself in heavy fuels between Barnes Meadow Reservoir and Long Draw Road. Kidd said crews were able to contain a spot fire that crossed Long Draw Road.
Dry fuels including hot weather, and low humidity have contributed to extreme fire behavior including:
- Short crown-runs: wherein the fire has spread through the crowns of trees independent of the surface fire
- Long-range spotting, wherein sparks or embers are carried by the wind to create new fires
Kidd said crews had increased containment and protective features for private properties and infrastructure around Chambers Lake.
Diminished fuels in the alpine area of the Rawah Mountains fuels will limit the fire’s spread to the north, Kidd said.
Colorado Highway 14 is closed from Rustic to Gould, and there is heavy fire traffic through the Poudre Canyon as crews access the fire area, according the update.
Larimer County has implemented mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders around the fire area. The closures will affect recreational access in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest.
Blue Team said winds shifting to the north and lower temperatures in the coming week will help with containment, though precipitation is expected to be low, and any storms could produce lightning.
From Rocky Mountain Blue Team Incident Management on Sunday afternoon’s operations:
“In Division W, one spot fire jumped across the Long Draw road, which crews quickly contained. They completed back firing operations along the east side of Long Draw Road to remove fuels and reduce potential for future spotting across the road with expected easterly winds this evening.”
“In Division Z, the fire progressed southward toward Cameron Pass, as well as north toward West Branch. A Very Large Air Tanker was used to lay down retardant to slow the fire’s advance northward. Crews are protecting structures and other values at risk on private lands in the Laramie River valley.”
“Logging equipment has moved into the Red Feather Lakes area and working northward from that area.”
“The structure group are monitoring the fire’s progress eastward toward Sleeping Elephant and mitigating fuels around structures along Highway 14, in the Pingree Park area and in the Kinnickinnick and Arrowhead areas.”