Officials are still investigating the cause of the Cameron Peak Fire, which has destroyed about 54 structures, including 25 homes. The blaze, now the fourth-largest recorded in state history, has ripped through 102,596 acres in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest of north-central Colorado.
At 4% containment, there are more than 1,000 firefighters battling flames from the both the ground and air. Located just west of Fort Collins, the fire ignited on August 13th and has been producing a large amount of smoke on and off since then. It is located about 25 miles east of Walden and 15 miles southwest of Redfeather Lakes.
As of Tuesday morning, fire officials say they're making good progress attacking direct fire lines along Buckhorn Road to Comanche Reservoir, Pingree Park Road, and Highway 14.
Firefighters are also continuing the construction of indirect fire line and structure protection measures near the Crystal Lakes, Red Feather, and Glacier View subdivisions.
Helicopter operations are continuing to focus on two main hot spots including the "Thumb" and Rocky Mountain National Park.
A high-pressure system is projected to remain in place throughout the week bringing warm temperatures in the 70s, low humidity, and winds gusting up to 25 mph.
Evacuations remain in place, including those south of County Road 86 from County Road 103 east to County Road 73C and south to Highway 14. For a full list of evacuations and road closures, please visit nocoalert.org.
As dangerous fire conditions persist, Colorado's statewide fire ban was extended an additional 30 days until Wednesday, October 7th.
In addition to the statewide ban, several other restrictions remain in place. The Canyon Lakes Ranger District is under Stage 2 fire restrictions, with Larimer County issuing a fire ban through September 18th.
Rocky Mountain National Park has also implemented a complete fire ban and an area closure that has impacted trails, cross country zones, and wilderness campsites in the northern part of the park. For information, please visit nps.gov/romo/learn/fire-information-and-regulations.htm.
A temporary flight restriction is in place to deter people from flying personal drones over the area. Fire officials stated “If you fly, we can't. Whenever a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of the area."
The Cameron Peak Fire is just one of four wildfires currently raging throughout the state of Colorado. Smoke and ash billowing from the wildfires is expecting to coat the southern skies of Colorado from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Editor's Note: Please do your part to prevent wildfires. Use extra caution and follow all fire restrictions still in effect.