The Kruger Fire burning after dusk on Tuesday, November 16. Photo Credit: Timothy Hurst, The Gazette.

The Kruger Fire burning after dusk on Tuesday, November 16. Photo Credit: Timothy Hurst, The Gazette.

The Kruger Rock fire near Estes Park grew only an acre overnight and remains 60% contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service. 

The wildfire had burned 147 acres as of Friday morning, the agency said. The fire ignited Tuesday morning around 7 a.m. after high winds knocked a tree into a power line, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.

The fire quickly in the first 24 hours but has only gained 2 acres since Wednesday.

More than 200 firefighters were battling the blaze as of Friday morning, officials said. 

Officials said firefighting efforts could be hindered on Friday as wind gusts are expected to reach up 45 mph between noon and 6 p.m., officials said. 

Firefighters will focus their efforts on the north and east sides of the blaze, officials said. In areas where it's safe to do so, firefighters will be mopping up around the fire's edge.

Mop-up involves mixing hot embers with dirt to remove the heat, officials said. 

Aerial support will be used if weather conditions allow. On Tuesday, Marc Thor Olson was killed while flying a single-engine air tanker after it crashed on the south end of Hermit Park just before 6:30 p.m.

Mandatory evacuations remain in place for Hermit Park and Pole Hill Road to the Panorama Peak area on the east side of Colorado 36, according to the Sheriff's Office. 

On Wednesday, fire officials downgraded evacuations from mandatory to voluntary for the area south and east of Fish Creek Road and Little Valley Drive. Those in voluntary evacuation areas should be prepared for mandatory evacuations if the fire behavior changes.


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