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Cameron Peak Fire grew to 206,977 acres; some evacuations lifted

The Larimer County wildfire has burned for more than two months and is the largest recorded in Colorado history.

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — A weather shift brought moist cold air across the Cameron Peak Fire Thursday night which helped crews add more containment lines on the eastern and southern portions of the fire.

Firefighters are preparing for colder weather, precipitation, and strong winds Friday. Colder temperatures and snow over the next few days should enhance firefighters’ suppression efforts.

Some evacuation orders were lifted Thursday for the fire which is now the largest in Colorado history. 

The evacuations that were lifted include: 

  • Pinewood Reservoir to Flatiron Reservoir 
  • Glade Road on both the north and south sides of Mildred lane to the Devil's Backbone and south to US 34
  • The Masonville Area south of County Road 38E from the east side of County Road 27 south to County Road 38E from the east side of County Road 27 south to US 34
  • Horsetooth Mountain Park east to Rim Rock Valley Lane, County Road 52E (Rist Canyon Road) from just east of County Road 27 to County Road 27E.

Total structure loss for the 206,977-acre fire is at under 200, with one-third being homes.

The fire, which began Aug. 13, is now at 57% containment as of Friday morning, fire officials said. It has cost $93.8 million to fight to date and is the largest wildfire in Colorado's recorded history after a surge east last week.

Helicopters were able to slow the fire's progression on Wednesday with water and fire retardant drops, while crews worked lines along the southern edge of the fire. Conditions on Thursday slowed air activity, but favorable fire conditions helped reduce the need for evacuations. 

Crews continued to prep around structures and set up additional pumps and hoselays in The Retreat and Storm Mountain communities.

Crews will take advantage of the weather to secure the fire's edge, and fire managers expect containment to increase over the next several days.

Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said this feels "like a turning point" and "the last 48 hours have been very good," referring to little growth in the fire. 

Earlier this week, active fire conditions led firefighters to pull back from a particularly active section of the fire for their own safety, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Those firefighters have been able to return to the area. 

RELATED: Here are all the wildfires burning across Colorado

The Larimer County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) lifted evacuation orders on Sunday, Oct. 18 for Manhattan Road, Shambhala Center and County Road 103 from the Tunnel Campground north. Residents may return home with no restrictions.

 allow emergency responders and evacuees to move as needed.

See an interactive map of the evacuation areas below:

Damage

Structure damage has been reported in several areas including:

  • Along Colorado Highway 14 corridor
  • Manhattan Road 
  • Boy Scout Ranch Road
  • Redstone Canyon area 
  • Stringtown Gulch 
  • Moondance Way
  • Buckhorn Road
  • Pingree Park Road

Details on damage and access can be found at larimer.org/cameron-peak-fire.

The Larimer County Joint Information Center is available at 970-980-2500 to provide information about evacuations, road closures, property assessments, credentials and large and small animal shelters. 

Sign up for Larimer County Emergency Alerts: nocoalert.org

Red Cross

The American Red Cross on Monday said caseworkers were being assigned to each client and that 169 people were working the fire as volunteers to help 1,300 evacuees. 

About 18,000 snacks and dinners had been handed out to evacuees and Red Cross crews were also distributing emergency clean up kits with brushes, shovels, rakes and gloves.

If you are an evacuee or someone who has been impacted by the wildfires and needs assistance, call 1-800-417-0495. 

To sign up to volunteer, email Joshua.Stewart@redcross.org.

Complete wildfire coverage: 9news.com/wildfires.

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