On Saturday a massive fire broke out in northern Colorado consuming 41,140 acres of the High Park area near Fort Collins, The Denver Post reports. The fire is believed to have started from a lightning strike at about 6 a.m. It grew to more than 31 square miles within a day of being reported. At least 18 structures have been burned or damaged and multiple other structures remain under threat.
"That number is going to go significantly higher," Larimer County executive officer Nick Christensen said.
As winds shifted, they forced the blaze to blow back on itself in at least some areas. Roughly 600 firefighters were sent to battle the flames Tuesday morning.
"We are making good progress and in some cases, the fire has died down and moderated," Christensen said.
Areas where homes or structures have been burned include Rist Canyon, Stove Prairie, Paradise Park, Poudre Canyon and Poudre Park.
About 2,600 telephone notifications on the fire have gone out since it started, including mandatory evacuation orders to the area south of Larimer County Road, according to the High Park Fire website. But the fire is moving rapidly in the direction of the latest evacuation order area, fire officials warn. Larimer County Road 38E is now closed from Masonville to Harmony Road at the junction of Taft Hill Road.
The Denver Post reported that Lou DeAngelis, a sculptor, said he evacuated his home in Rist Canyon on Saturday night and has been trying to find out the status. So far he's not been able to get any specific information."To me it's very frustrating,” DeAngelis said, “We have the technology to see if a man is living in a cave in Afghanistan, but you can't tell me if my home is intact. I just want a simple answer."
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