We now know, hour-by-hour, the steps taken by firefighters and have obtained new photos and video from people who watched it all unfold.
After our story Monday night, we've been hearing from more people who were in the area when the fire started.
Accounts of what happened and how it played out vary based on time and location. But we now have a much clearer picture of how, and when, resources arrived.
Long before black smoke filled the blue skies Saturday morning, Nate Johnson spotted a small white plume.
Johnson was first to call 911 at 5:54 a.m.
"I saw a small little bit of smoke on the ridge next to me," Johnson said. "And [the dispatcher] said she'd send somebody up right away."
Dispatchers paged emergency services less than a minute later at 5:55 a.m.
"We immediately dispatched somebody from our office," Larimer County Sheriff's spokesman Nick Christensen said. "Keep in mind this is a rural area, mountainous terrain, very windy roads. But they were up there very quickly given all that."
Rist Canyon volunteer firefighters and Larimer County emergency services personnel were on scene by 7:30 a.m. By 8 a.m., they located the fire and called for air support.
Tim Waterhouse was mountain biking when he spotted the first U.S. Forest Service aerial drops around 9:30 a.m.
Waterhouse took video and pictures while watching the fire grow.
"You see smoke just billowing like a chimney and all of a sudden it would just turn into a flame," Waterhouse said. "I can't imagine being so close to something that massive and that hot."
By the time planes were in the air, the fire was a few acres in size. Soon it grew to 50 acres, and before long, 500 acres.
"Very windy conditions as well caused it to grow very rapidly," Christensen said.
Air tankers dropped flame retardant. Helicopters armed with water tried cooling the fire. The flames only grew hotter, fueled by beetle kill, bone dry weather, and relentless heat.
Joel Peterson's cabin is half-a-mile from where the fire started.
"It blew out of control in a real big hurry," Peterson said.
Peterson snapped photos until he felt it was too dangerous. He drove out as firefighters moved in.
"All of us deeply, deeply appreciate them putting their lives on the line, being there to protect our property," Peterson said.
It is dangerous work that continues as firefighters continue to make progress on containing a monster fire that began as a puff of smoke.
The Larimer County Sheriff's office says another report of smoke came in Friday but it was not related to the High Park Fire.
9NEWS meteorologist Marty Coniglio tracked lighting strikes in that area. Coniglio says a lightning strike Wednesday night is responsible, but the fire didn't flare up until Saturday.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)