Planned burn in Colorado goes out of control, causes evacuations

Published: Oct. 17, 2019 at 5:10 PM CDT
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UPDATE 7:57 PM: On Wednesday, October 16, at about 4 p.m., the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office received a request from the Nature Conservancy to assist them with a wildfire that had escaped the boundaries of a prescribed burn project they were working in the area of the Ben Delatour Boy Scout Ranch. The project included firefighters from over a dozen agencies, including the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and had been prescribed to improve the overall ecologic health of the forest.

As soon as the fire was declared a wildfire, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services took command of the incident and incorporated resources on-scene for the prescribed burn into the suppression efforts. Aircraft were ordered and flew until darkness made further drops impossible. Firefighters on the ground worked through the night, and on Thursday morning additional firefighters were ordered and air operations resumed.

An initial mandatory evacuation was placed for most of Glacier View Meadows south of County Road 74E, but was then scaled back to be mandatory for Gates 7 through 13 and voluntary for Gates 1 through 6 (south of County Road 74E) in the late evening on Oct. 16. The fire damaged one shed and threatened an estimated 50 homes. No injuries have been reported.

As of 6 P.M. today, the mandatory and voluntary evacuations from Glacier View Gate 12 eastward to Gate 1 will be lifted. Gate 13 (N Rim Rd) will remain under mandatory evacuation overnight, but will be released from evacuation tomorrow morning at 8 A.M. All major roads remain open.

The fire has not grown and is still at 622 acres. Containment is up to 80%. Partner agencies involved today included Boulder County, Wellington Fire, Bear Mountain, Standing Rock – Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Alpine Hotshots - National Park Service, Frederick/Firestone Fire, Glacier View Fire, Loveland Fire Rescue Authority, US Forest Service, and the Nature Conservancy.

There will be a community meeting Friday, October 18, at 5:30 P.M. at the Livermore Community Church (284 W. CR 74E) for residents impacted by the Elk Fire.

LCSO will conduct a review of the prescribed burn with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control.

Firefighters are working to contain a wildfire that began as a controlled burn and is now threatening about 50 homes in northern Colorado.

Residents were ordered to evacuate near the Elk Fire northwest of Fort Collins on Wednesday. The Larimer County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that the fire, including the original prescribed burn, covers about 620 acres (251 hectares) and is 50 percent contained.

Dry, windy weather is keeping the fire danger high around much of Colorado.

Wildfires are still burning near Salida (suh-LY'-duh), Rifle and Ridgway.

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