KUSA – Several wildfires are burning across Colorado amid record heat and dry conditions, prompting evacuations for hundreds and responses from multiple state wildfire agencies.
Due to the size and number of the state's wildfires, the Rocky Mountain area has been placed on Level Four Preparedness Level - the highest in the country (and only one level before Level Five, which is the maximum Preparedness Level). This means that Colorado has the highest priority for any requested national resources.
As of Saturday morning, 197,319 acres across the state were affected by the fires, according to a tweet from the Colorado Office of Emergency Management.
Below, you’ll find information about all of the fires 9NEWS has reported on, as well as links to additional coverage.
Size: 107,927 acres
Location: East of Fort Garland, and straddling the line between Costilla and Huerfano counties
Containment: 77 percent
The fire, which began on June 27 just east of Fort Garland in Costilla County in southern Colorado, has destroyed 132 homes.
On Saturday afternoon, US 160 between Fort Garland and La Veta (mile marker 258 to 293) and CO 12, between La Veta and Cuchara Pass (mile marker 7 to 22.5) reopened to the public. Smoke is still visible in the area, and CDOT asks that those passing through avoid stopping on the highway.
The Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team Black has assumed command of the blaze - Team Blue joined them Monday to take command the fire north of Highway 160 while Team Black remains in control of the southern portion of the blaze.
Some mandatory evacuation orders were lifted at 10 a.m. Friday for the following locations according to the Huerfano County Emergency Facebook page.
Some areas of Navajo
- Vega Dr
- Indian Creek Drive
Areas outside La Veta
- Wahatoya Valley
- Shangra La
- Little Kansas
- County road 363 also known as the Mesa
- County Road 362.1
- County Road 361
- County Road 440
- County Road 450
- County Road 451
- County Road 430
- County Road 420
- Indian Creek Ranch
- Up to and including gas plant property
Residents will remain on pre-evacuation status and will be required to have a Rapid Tag re-entry ID.
The map below shows the current evacuation areas. For the most current information, call Huerfano County Emergency Operations Center at 719-695-9604 and Costilla County Emergency Operations Center at 719-480-8719.
So far, more than 1,800 personnel have been assigned to the wildfire. The Spring Fire is now the largest wildfire burning in Colorado - outpacing the 416 Fire that's sitting around 54,000 acres after a month of growth.
Jesper Joergensen, 52, has been arrested on criminal charges of arson related to starting the fire. According to an arrest affidavit, he was cooking meat for several hours in a fire pit the night before the fire started.
Location: Northwest side of Lumpy Ridge in Rocky Mountain National Park
What's known as the Needles Fire started burning Monday afternoon on the northwest side of Lumpy Ridge in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Glen Haven Volunteer Fire/Rescue is tweeting updates about the blaze.
Size: 19,947 acres
Location: 32 miles northwest of Craig
Containment: 100 percent
The fire that burned nearly 20,000 acres 23 miles north of Craig was fully contained at noon on July 9.
Two homes have been lost since the fire started burning on June 29
The cause of the Divide Fire remains under investigation.
Size: 91 acres
Location: 5 miles west of Wetmore in Custer County
Containment: 95 percent
Lightning started the Adobe Fire, first reported on July 2 in Custer County five miles west of Wetmore. The fire is under the U.S. Forest Service's jurisdiction in the San Carlos Ranger District.
Due to the continued efforts to suppress the Adobe Fire, all pre-evacuations in both Fremont and Custer counties are now lifted.
Five air tankers, three helicopters, three hand crews, three engine modules, one water tender with air support from single-engine air tankers and heavy air tankers are all battling the fire.
No structures are reportedly threatened at this time.
Size: 6,180 acres
Location: Just west of the Basalt gun range
Containment: 39 percent
The fire has destroyed three homes as of July 5, according to the Eagle County Sheriff's Office.
As of 7 p.m. on Friday, evacuation orders for areas north of Highway 82 and west of El Jebel road were lifted. The voluntary evacuation ordered of the Missouri Heights area in Garfield County was also lifted on Friday morning.
As of July 7, approximately 782 evacuees from 279 homes have returned home.
According to the Aspen Times, residences on Big Pinon and Little Pinon drives, the Shadow Rock complex, Original Road, Pine Ridge condominiums, Sagewood Court, Hillcrest, Silverado and Two Rivers Road for access to Hillcrest reopened at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, mandatory evacuations on most roads within Basalt will be lifted, with the exception of Lake Christine Road, Wilderness Road, Promontory Lane, Wild Spring Lane, Cedar Drive and Pinion Drive.
Basalt High School, 600 Southside Drive served as an evacuation center.
The fire was reportedly started by people shooting tracer rounds just before 7 p.m.
On Monday morning, the district attorney for the 5th Judicial District confirmed that felony warrants were issued for Richard Karl Miller and Allison Sarah Marcus in connection with the fire.
Size: 13,023 acres
Location: 9 miles southwest of Fairplay
Containment: 52 percent
The Weston Pass Fire was first reported on June 28 in a remote area in Park County nine miles southwest of Fairplay.
Severe weather, including thunderstorms and lightning, moved into the area on Friday, impacting firefighting efforts. According to a release, those active in fighting the fire had to stay in their vehicles until the storm passed and they could engage the fire again. They were still able to increase containment to 34 percent.
The Buffalo Peaks Wilderness Area is now closed to the public according to the incident command.
The U.S. Forest Service said a mandatory evacuation is in place for all of the homes between the fire and County Road 22. That road, as well as Forest Service Road 442 and Forest Service Road 158, are closed.
Mandatory evacuations have been issued for Black Mountain south of CR 22, and Campground of the Rockies (CORA). Residents have been advised to leave immediately.
Eight to ten homes are affected by the blaze, according to Gene Stanley with the Park County Office of Emergency Management.
Fire crews confirmed Sunday afternoon that one home at 695 Lynch Creek Court was damaged by the fire. One outbuilding at 854 Rich Creek Court was also damaged.
The fire was caused by lightning.
Size: 1,423 acres
Location: West of Wright’s Reservoir northeast of Cripple Creek
Containment: 95 percent
The High Chateau Fire that burned more than 1,400 acres and destroyed 8 homes and several outbuildings was sparked on June 28 by a campfire that was left unattended according to a release from the Teller County Sheriff's office.
Monday morning July 9, the sheriff's office announced that three people had been arrested in connection with the fire.
David Michael Renfrow,23, Kegan Patrick Owens, 19, and a 17-year-old boy have been charged with First Degree Arson (a class three felony) for their alleged roles in starting the fire. Each of them faces 4 to 8 years in prison and fines between $3,000 and $750,000.
Size: 54,129 acres
Location: 10 miles north of Durango
Containment: 50 percent
The 416 Fire started burning on June 1 and since then, has swelled to more than 54,000 acres. It is burning in a large swath of rough and inaccessible terrain.
Daily rain continues over the fire area, allowing the release of most firefighting resources.
However, the onset of significant monsoonal rain is expected by late Wednesday or Thursday this week which may lead to heavy rain and flash flooding and debris flows.
La Plata County has issued pre-evacuation notice for 317 residences in Tripp Creek, Dyke Canyon, Hermosa Circle and Falls Creek Ranch areas due to the potential for flash flooding
On Monday, July 2, more than a month after the fire was first reported, all evacuation orders and pre-evacuation notices related to the fire were lifted.
Command of the 416 fire will transition from the National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) team back to the San Juan National Forest on Tuesday, July 10 at 6 p.m
La Plata County has imposed Stage 3 fire restrictions for all unincorporated lands in the county. To date, this fire has cost an estimated $30.7 million.
Badger Creek Fire
Size: 21,176 acres
Location: Straddling the Colorado, Wyoming state line near Mountain Home, Wyo.
Containment: 80 percent
The Badger Creek Fire started burning the evening of June 10. More than 100 firefighters are trying to get a handle on the blaze, which flared up recently due to hot, dry and windy conditions.
Preliminary information indicates that this fire may have been human-caused. Anyone with information is asked to call the Medicine Bow National Forest - Laramie Ranger District tip line at 307-745-2392.
Red Canyon Fire 2
Size : 26 acres
Location: on a ridge to the east of the Red Canyon subdivision near Wolcott
Containment: 30 percent
The Red Canyon 2 fire started on the evening of July 8 and was most likely sparked by lightning according to Eagle River Fire Protection District.
As of Monday morning, it had burned 26 acres. At one point six people and two horses to evacuate as a precaution, but those orders were lifted Monday evening. Residents of Red
Canyon Estates should be prepared to leave at any moment if conditions on the fire suddenly
It is currently burning on a ridge to the east of that subdivision, on the White River National Forest land about .3 miles from the subdivision.
Size: 1,636 acres
Location: Near Maybell, about 35 miles west of Craig.
Containment: 100 percent
The Thornburg fire broke out July 6 about 5 miles west of Maybell – between Highway 40 and Highway 318. It was fully contained on July 9.
About 45 firefighters with five engines and two single-engine air-tankers worked on the fire Friday night.
As of Saturday morning, no homes have been lost or damaged, although at one point about 30 structures were threatened.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Size: 1,270 acres
Location: 13 miles southwest of Fraser
Containment: 20 percent
The Sugarloaf Fire started burning June 28 north of Loveland Pass is a remote part of the Williams Fork Valley due to a lightning strike according to the incident command.
The area is rugged and steep, remote with no roads and no safety zones for firefighters. It is part of the Mountain Pine Beetle “bug kill” that devastated lodgepole pine forests 20 years ago in various parts of the Forest.
The numerous dead trees still standing present particularly dangerous conditions due to the sudden fall risk and potential to be struck by lightning.
The fire is not immediately threatening any homes or businesses.
Size: 4,593 acres
Location: In the San Juan National Forest about 14 miles south of Rico.
Containment: 50 percent
The Burro Fire broke out on June 8, and has been burning in steep terrain on both sides of Bear Creek. Despite recent rain, there have been flare-ups as the forest has dried out.
Hands crews are on the scene battling this blaze, as well as one forest service fire engine.
What caused this fire near the 416 Fire is under investigation.
Size: Six acres
Location: 22 miles northeast of Glenwood Springs
Containment: 90 percent
What’s been dubbed the Turret Fire started burning in the Flat Tops Wilderness 22 miles northeast of Glenwood Springs on Thursday evening.
According to a news release from the Upper Colorado River Fire Management Unit, eight smoke jumpers, a type two helicopter and crew of 12 firefighters have been ordered to battle the blaze.
The cause of this fire is unknown. Firefighters have closed the Shingle Peak trail and Turret Peak trail due to activity in the area.