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News Release

High Fire Update @ 9:15 p.m.

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Department: Sheriff
Release Date: Jun 12, 2012

Contact Information:

Larimer County Sheriff's Office
John Schulz, Public Information Officer

The High Park Fire is now at 43,372 with 10% containment.

There will be a citizens meeting at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow at the evacuation center at the Ranch at I-25 & Crossroads Boulevard

The evacuation area south of County Road 38E from Gindler Ranch Road west to Milner Ranch Road was lifted. All residents in this area were free to return home as of noon today.

Evacuation orders were issued for the entire Pingree Park Road area, to include Hourglass and Comanche Reservoirs, east on the Buckhorn Road up to and including Pennock Pass, northeast to the intersection of Stove Prairie Road and Highway 14, and west to the intersection of Highway 14 and Pingree Park Road. All evacuated citizens may go to The McKee building at The Ranch at I-25 and Crossroads Boulevard .

Pre-evacuation alerts were sent to residents in the area south of County Road 74E, south and east of McNay Hill for residents on Hewlett Gulch Road, Deer Meadow Way, Gordon Creek Lane and connecting roadways in that area. The notice was sent in the morning and was cancelled this evening. Roads in this area are open to residents only.

Good progress was made today with increased containment, "black on the map". The structure protection group was very successful today saving numerous homes.

The fire was very active today on the north side of the fire with some torching occurring. A 120 acre spot fire was contained. Back burning operations were conducted.

The line on the northeast side of the fire is built and crews are assessing whether it will hold.

Priority for the southeast and southwest flanks of the fire was building a direct line and protecting structures.

There was lots of activity on the west side of the fire. 70% of the trees in this area have been killed by the mountain pine beetle.

Residents who have refused to evacuate from Poudre Canyon have been hampering fire operations. Residents are encouraged to leave the area.

There are 634 personnel working the fire with more expected tomorrow. 37 engines were assigned to the fire today with 100 expected by tomorrow. The cost of the fire to date is $3 million.

There were no firefighter injuries today. There has been one citizen fatality.

Air resources today included:

5 Heavy air tankers
2 Lead Planes
Air Attack Command Plane
5 Single engine air tankers
4 Type 1 heavy helicopters
3 Type 2 medium helicopters
4 Type 3 helicopter
3 Blackhawk helicopters from the National Guard

In addition to the three Blackhawk helicopters, the Colorado-Wyoming National Guard is providing 50 military policemen to help man the roadblocks under the direction of the Sheriff. There assistance is greatly appreciated.

Weather conditions are expected to be warmer and drier tomorrow with lower winds.

Temporary closures at Horsetooth Reservoir, Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, and Eagle’s Nest Open Space have been extended through Thursday, June 14, 2012. Updates regarding the weekend will be released by noon Wednesday, June 13, 2012, and posted at www.larimer.org/naturalresources .

Campers who have reservations at Horsetooth Reservoir for any days June 11 – June 14, 2012, should call the reservation company at 1-800-397-7795 to change or cancel.

Media briefings will be held a 9:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at the Watson Lake Wildlife Area.

Background Image: Rocky Mountain National Park by Sue Burke. All rights reserved.