Emergency crews continue working to contain several large, expanding wildfires burning across Colorado, US, as of Oct. 24. Forecast models indicate that cooler conditions are expected in Colorado beginning Oct. 24, which would reduce the wildfire risk. Snow is expected to develop, Oct. 25-26 in northern Colorado, which may also provide temporary relief.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issued an elevated fire risk for portions of central Colorado, Oct. 22. Additionally, air quality alerts have been issued across north-central Colorado, including Fort Collins, Loveland, Boulder, and Denver, due to pollution from heavy wildfire smoke. 

As of Oct. 24, the following large wildfires continue to cause evacuations and transport disruptions:

Cameron Peak Fire
The Cameron Peak Fire has been burning since Aug. 13 in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests in Larimer County. The fire edge is located approximately 15 km (10 miles) west of Fort Collins. As of Oct. 24, the blaze was approximately 83,957 hectares (207,464 acres) in size and was 60-percent contained. At least 1,900 personnel are currently on-site battling the blaze. Several mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders and transport disruptions are ongoing.

For more info, visit: Larimer County, Colorado Emergency Alerts (NOCO)

Calwood Fire
The Calwood Fire is currently impacting Boulder County, Colorado. The center of the fire located north of Jamestown, or 8 km (5 miles) northwest of Boulder. As of Oct. 24, the fire was approximately 4,085 hectares (10,095 acres) in size and was 66-percent contained. So far at least 26 structures have been damaged or destroyed. At least 490 personnel are reportedly on-site battling the blaze. At least 3,000 residents have been forced to evacuate. Several evacuation orders and transport disruptions are ongoing.

For more info, visit the Boulder Emergency Operations Center Public Information Map

East Troublesome Fire
The East Troublesome Fire is currently impacting Grand County, Colorado, and is located 63 km (40 miles) northwest of Boulder. As of Oct. 24, the fire complex was approximately 76,238 hectares (188,389 acres) in size and was 4-percent contained. The fire has rapidly expanded since the afternoon of Oct. 21 due to strong winds. At least 424 personnel are currently on-site battling the blaze. Some evacuation orders and transport disruptions are ongoing.

For more info, visit the East Troublesome Fire Incident Information Center

Depending on the progression of the wildfire, the status of nearby roads could change over the coming hours and days. Authorities could close additional routes within the wildfire complex and expand mandatory evacuation orders or voluntary evacuations due to fire activity and the needs of response operators. Traffic flows could also be disrupted during re-entry periods after authorities lift evacuation orders. Low visibility from smoke and possible ashfall could contribute to traffic delays and congestion in the region.

Advice

Heed all evacuation orders. Seek updated information on road conditions if driving in the affected area; road closures and detours will cause increased congestion and delays. Individuals not under evacuation warnings should consider remaining inside well-ventilated, air-conditioned spaces to reduce exposure to smoke. Collect essential items - including identification and any important legal and travel documents - in a "go-bag" that can be easily accessed. Charge battery-powered devices in the case of prolonged power outages. Individuals with chronic respiratory illnesses may be more susceptible to the negative effects of smoke inhalation. Eye irritation is possible; flush irritated eyes with copious amounts of clean water.


For more information, please visit the following US Wildfires Risk Intelligence and Resource Centers: