Nearly half a million public acres in Colorado remain closed to all recreation due to wildfire activity across the state. The East Troublesome Fire is the latest wreaking havoc on the range.
With major fires already in motion on the Colorado landscape, the East Troublesome Fire grew an astounding 100,000 acres overnight. Further, the Cameron Peak, CalWood, and Lefthand Canyon fires continue to burn in a late-season onslaught like nothing else in the state’s recent history.
As a result, the USDA National Forest Service made the decision to close all National Forest land in Clear Creek, Jefferson, Gilpin, Boulder, and Larimer counties on October 21. The USFS reports that wildfire currently affects 442,000 acres. And that number is likely to grow with the rapid progression of the East Troublesome Fire, which currently stands at only 5% containment.
Evacuations, Closures, and Wildfire-Related Refunds for Hunters
Communities have evacuated across the state, including Estes Park and Grand Lake. Recreation closures blanket the Front Range, including the recently closed Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition, Colorado Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is issuing wildfire-related refunds for hunters with deer and elk tags in affected areas. More than 3,000 wildland firefighters are working to contain the flames.
Above all, safety is the highest priority for all affected. And the USFS looks to keep it that way.
“The number of large fires and extreme fire behavior we are seeing on our Forests this year is historic,” said Forest Supervisor Monte Williams. “These temporary closures are necessary to protect the public and our firefighters, and we will keep them in place until conditions improve and we are confident that the risk of new fire starts has decreased.
“I ask all of our local residents and visitors to take these closures and evacuations seriously to allow our firefighters to focus on the mission of safely suppressing the existing fires.”