Some Colorado residents and businesses have been required to evacuate as firefighters respond the the Kruger Rock fire, which erupted Tuesday morning in Estes park. CBS Denver reported that officials believe that the 133-acre flame was started by an issue in power lines.
Larimer County Sheriff’s Office issued a series of emergency messages warning residents that the fire was a “immediate and imminent threat.”
According to the sheriff’s Office, “Evacuate the area as quickly and immediately as possible.” Do not delay in removing your belongings and protecting your home or business. Evacuating the area immediately not only helps your safety, but also gives emergency crews easier access to it.
The fast-spreading fire can be found at the eastern entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park and is only 90 minutes from Denver. The flame was first reported at 7:15 a.m. local. The flames were contained to 15% as of Tuesday evening.
According to the sheriff’s office, structures in the area were threatened but no damage was reported as of Tuesday morning. Justin Smith, Larimer County Sheriff, told CBS Denver that there is concern that flames could reach U.S. Highway 36. The highway has been closed since the eastern edge of Lyons to the eastern part Estes Park.
In the affected areas, the county has established evacuation points for residents and animals.
The National Weather Service issued a red alert for the Front Range of Colorado on Tuesday at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. local. This means that severe fire weather conditions are currently occurring or will soon occur.
According to the National Weather Service, wind gusts are expected to reach 45 miles per hour in the area with relative humidity as low at 10 percent. It warned of potential rapid-fire expansion.
CBS Denver reported Tuesday evening that a single engine plane crashed in the vicinity of the fire. It is not known what type of plane it was or why.
“LCSO & other agencies are investigating reports of a single engine air tanker crash south of Estes Park. Crews are currently searching the area. More to come,” Larimer County Sheriff’s Office shared via social media.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), there have been more that 49,000 fires which have burned over 6,535,000 acres in total since 2021. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wildfires have increased in severity, size, and number over the past 20 years due to factors such as prolonged drought and earlier snow melts.
Source: CBS News