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Hewlett wildfire in Poudre Canyon causes mandatory evacuations, is 7,600 acres

12:42 PM, May 18, 2012   |    comments
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The mandatory evacuation for the 15 homes along Highway 14 from the Greyrock Trailhead to the North Poudre diversion dam (approximately mile markers 113 to 115) is still in effect as of Friday. Highway 14 remains closed from Ted's Place to Stove Praire.

An evacuation center is still open at Cache La Poudre Middle School.

If evacuated residents have large animals, they can take them to The Ranch off of Interstate 25. Small animals may be taken to the Larimer Humane Society off of Trilby and College in Fort Collins.

The wildfire broke out in Poudre Canyon near the Hewlett Gulch Trail in Roosevelt National Forest on Monday just after 1 p.m. Authorities believe it is human caused.

Fire crews spent Thursday working on the east flank of the fire along the North Fork of the Poudre from Seaman Reservoir to Long Draw. The fire is moving toward the north, but all areas are considered to be active.

It has grown east to Seaman Reservoir, north to within 1/2 mile of the southeast corner of Glacier View subdivision, it remains to the west of the North Fork of the Poudre River and north of Highway 14.

"Fire is a scary thing," Mike Lovas, a resident, said on Thursday.

Lovas could see the plumes of smoke from his front yard in Poudre Canyon. He says he had a nervous Thursday morning. He lives higher than other homes in the area, some with fire lines built around them, but he saw flames right over the Poudre River.

"That's the biggest fear is for it to cross the river at this point," Lovas said. "This is pretty intense as it is. If it keeps creeping down any further, I'm pretty much going to pack up and get out of here."

Lovas' home was among those evacuated on Thursday.

"It's just out of control," he said.

9NEWS Reporter Matt Flener went along Highway 14 and says he saw swirling winds and 10-foot-tall flames.

"If it keeps swirling around, it's impossible to say what's going to happen," Rich Wollam, a Poudre Canyon resident, told Flener.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries on Tuesday night and was treated and released. So far, that is the only report of injuries from this wildfire.

Larimer County says they are mostly concerned with keeping the structures safe.

The fire is in the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the Roosevelt National Forest. The fire is located approximately 20 miles northwest of Fort Collins, 10 miles west of the junction of Hwy 14 and Hwy 287 near the Hewlett Gulch Trail in the Poudre Canyon.

It's a difficult hike to the fire, and there is limited access through the roads - making fighting the fire difficult to fight. Larimer County says the fire spread quickly after it started in the grasses on Monday. Now, the fire is burning open timber, brush, grass, and other types of vegetation.

This fire is in the same area where there have been at least eight fires in previous years.

The U.S. Forest Service is posting updates on the fire at http://inciweb.org/incident/2863/.

Potential evacuees can call 970-498-5500 or visit larimer.org if they need information. Larimer County's website will help residents get emergency alerts: http://leta911.org.

9NEWS has created a Wildfire Resource Center to answer many questions about the fire season.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)

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