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Wildfire evacuations lead to heavy traffic on roads out of Estes Park

Traffic was at a standstill in the roads leaving Estes Park due to multiple mandatory evacuations from the East Troublesome Fire.

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — Large backups were reported on the roads out of Estes Park as hundreds of people were evacuated due to the growing East Troublesome Fire.

The 9NEWS traffic map shows that traffic crawled at less than 10 miles per hour leaving the popular tourist destination on US 36.

There was also heavy traffic on US 34 in Loveland, prompting the Loveland Police Department to ask drivers to avoid the area if they can to ensure the evacuees could get out safely.

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All roads into Estes Park have been closed due to firefighting activity in the area. Rocky Mountain National Park is also closed to visitors.

9NEWS Viewer Paul Marcotte submitted multiple photos of a traffic jam in Lyons, where US 36 and Highway 7 converge.

Credit: Courtesy Paul Marcotte
Heavy traffic leaving Lyons on Oct. 22, 2020 due to the East Troublesome Fire.
Credit: Paul Marcotte

Reporter Casey Nolen, a reporter for 9NEWS sister station KSDK in St. Louis, shared a video of heavy traffic in downtown Estes Park, where wildfire smoke painted the skies orange. 

Here is a map of the evacuation area from the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. Some of these evacuations are for the nearby Cameron Peak Fire.

People leaving Estes Park via U.S. 34 should now go to the Embassy Suites at 4705 Clydesdale Pwky. in Loveland. Those leaving via US 36 should go to Westminster City Park Recreation Center at 10455 Sheridan Blvd. in Westminster. Those leaving via Highway 7 should go to the Isle of Capri at 401 Main St. in Black Hawk.  

Anyone forced to evacuate was asked to register using East Troublesome Fire Evacuee(s) Registration Form to assist with the re-entry process, the GCSO said.

The Joint Information Center will be open until 8 p.m. to answer questions. Call 970-980-2500. It will reopen at 8 a.m. on Friday. 

9NEWS coverage on Colorado's wildfires can be found here.

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