Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Smoke billows from the High Park Fire west of Fort Collins, Colo., on Monday, June 18, 2012. The wildfire has now burned about 90 square miles and destroyed more than 180 homes. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
Colorado firefighters get break from hot weather

Evacuation » Crews plan to be “agressive“ as temperatures drop 20 degrees.


The Associated Press

First Published Jun 20 2012 12:49 pm • Last Updated Jun 20 2012 05:37 pm

Bellvue, Colo. » Firefighters took advantage of a break in the heat Wednesday to ramp up their attack against wildfire burning on more than 100 square miles in northern Colorado.

After three straight days of gusty winds and temperatures in the 90s, temperatures were expected to be about 20 degrees cooler.

At a glance

Wildfire update

In Wyoming » nearly 300 firefighters are battling a wildfire burning in remote and mountainous area of the Medicine Bow National Forest that has burned about 4 square miles since Sunday. An 800-acre wildfire that began Tuesday in Wyoming and crossed over into Colorado is 70 percent contained.

In New Mexico » a fire that has destroyed 242 homes and businesses in southern New Mexico was 60 percent contained. A fire in the Gila Wilderness, the largest in state history, is at 463 square miles and is 80 percent contained.

In Arizona » firefighters built containment lines around a 3,700-acre blaze on the Tonto National Forest to try to protect electric transmission lines that provide power to the state’s major metropolitan areas. The fire was 15 percent contained Tuesday. In Nevada » a 10,000-acre wildfire north of Ely was 15 percent contained.

In Hawaii » a 6-acre fire in Maui that damaged three homes was contained late Tuesday and residents were allowed back home.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"We’ve been patient through those red flag conditions. Today we’re going to be aggressive," said Bill Hahnenberg, who is leading the fight against the 65,738-acre fire west of Fort Collins.

Firefighters were working on extending containment lines around the fire but also focusing on protecting homes in unburned pockets of land within the perimeter. Some residents were also being allowed back to their homes, but hundreds remained evacuated.

Conditions are also better at a wildfire burning on nearly 2 square miles near Lake George, which is 23 percent contained.

A fire that broke out Tuesday in northwestern Colorado spread to about 3 square miles, or 2,000 acres, forcing some evacuations in a subdivision, but residents were able to return that night. Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said the fire is believed to have started from a cigarette thrown from a vehicle.

The largest Colorado blaze west of Fort Collins, was 55 percent contained and has destroyed at least 189 homes since it was sparked by lightning June 9. Incident commander Bill Hahnenberg said it could be weeks or even months before it’s finally controlled.

In California, a 300-acre fire near Sequoia National Park is 35 percent contained, U.S. Forest Service officials said Wednesday.

Two hundred firefighters are battling the blaze on the northwest side of Lake Isabella and 200 more are on their way, said Forest Service spokeswoman Cindy Thill.

About 160 structures, including homes and cabins, and a campground near the park have been evacuated.

story continues below
story continues below

No structures have burned and no injuries have been reported, Thill said.

Residents in San Diego County, meanwhile, have been allowed to home near a 995-acre fire. Full containment was expected Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.