The Cameron Peak fire northwest of Fort Collins grew to 89,321 acres Monday, making it the fourth largest in Colorado history.

OTC Editor's Note: This article does not include "complex" fires in the count, which occur when wildfires merge with each other to form a large burn. West Fork Fire Complex reached a combined 110,405 acres in 2013.

High winds fueled extreme fire activity once again, triggering new evacuations and closing Colorado 14, according to Inciweb

Fire crews were focused on structure protection as evacuation orders were issued for the Mount Simon, Green Mountain Meadow and Drake Ranch subdivisions, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Since Friday, the fire that started in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests has grown about 65,000 acres.

Firefighters could see some relief Monday night because a cold snap is expected to bring rain and 6 to 12 inches of snow to the area, according to

Residents in communities east of the fire, including Fort Collins, have reported ash raining down over the holiday weekend. 

Dianna Luce, a resident of Severance near Fort Collins, said she has lived through many wildfires but none of them compares to the Cameron Peak fire, with its eerie orange clouds and ash that's been falling since Friday. 

The sky is reminiscent of a volcanic eruption, she said. 

"There is ash all over our deck, all over the cars," she said. 

Most people in Luce's neighborhood are staying inside to avoid the terrible air quality and she won't even let her dog spend time outside, she said. 

She is hopeful that the incoming storm will bring snow as predicted. 

"I don't know how else the air is going to clear," she said. 

About 800 firefighters are assigned to the blaze, which is about 4% contained.

The fire also has closed Trail Ridge Road and numerous trails within Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Contact the writer at or (719) 429-9264.


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