DENVER, Colorado (CNN) -- A fast-moving wildfire in the Pike National Forest more than doubled in size to 75,000 acres Monday and threatened a residential area south of Denver, prompting preparations for the largest evacuation yet, state officials said Monday.
Authorities have drawn up plans to evacuate as many as 40,000 people from the southwestern outskirts of Denver.
Officials Monday evening were preparing to evacuate Perry Park subdivision, a residential neighborhood with a population of 1,549 people, according to Sgt. Atilla Denes of the Douglas County Sheriff's office.
Another 2,049 people were on high alert, as the fire appeared headed directly for Roxborough Park.
Fueled by high winds and temperatures, low humidity and dense forest conditions, the wildfire has spread over 75,880 acres and is moving at a faster rate than Sunday night when it was blazing through 500 acres per hour. It began as an illegal campfire 40 miles from Denver.
"Now it's making a run today. It's run 19 miles [30 kilometers] from where the fire started. It's a real scary, dangerous fire," said Lynn Young, a spokesman for the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center, which is coordinating firefighting efforts.
Dubbed the Hayman fire, it is the largest of eight blazes burning in Colorado at a cost of millions of dollars a day, with climatic conditions impeding efforts at containment. (Map)
"Colorado today is being tested in a way it has never been tested before," said Gov. Bill Owens. He estimated the Hayman fire could spread to 100,000 acres by the end of the day.
'Evacuation is essential'
Young said the fire was crowning high in the trees, preventing firefighters from getting out in front to contain it.
"There is nothing that can be done under current weather and fuel conditions," Owens said. "Evacuation for those who in the path of this fires is essential. You must not try to defend yourself or your property against this fire."
A spokesman for the Colorado State Forest Service said plans were being made to evacuate as many as 40,000 people from an area just southwest of Denver, a city protected by its terrain -- a plain surrounded by flat grasslands, with few trees to burn.
He said the evacuations would be conducted in stages as the fire spreads.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 people were evacuated Sunday in Park, Jefferson and Douglas counties.
Another 147 households were ordered evacuated Monday in Douglas County as the fire moved forward, according to the sheriff's office.
"The fire is continuing at its previous rate," said Sgt. Atilla Denes of the Douglas County Sheriff's office. "We are watching the fire's behavior very closely. This is a fire of unprecedented proportions for this part of the country and we are very concerned about it."
In Jefferson County, several hundred people were being evacuated from Tarryall Reservoir, as fickle winds whipped the southern part of the fire in different directions, according to Sgt. Don Anthony of the Park County sheriff's office.
Several hundred people had also been evacuated Sunday in Jefferson County.
Numerous local roads, including part of Colorado 67, have been closed.
'Some have lost everything'
The second big fire, in western Colorado near Glenwood Springs, was continuing to burn but "remained stable," according to the state Forest Service.
That fire has overlapped the path of the 1994 Storm King fire, where 14 firefighters were killed when the winds changed the direction of the fire, trapping the men in the blaze.
Anthony said this was the reason firefighters were not deploying in front of the current blazes.
The fire had spread across 7,300 acres and had burned more than 40 buildings, including 23 homes and one commercial structure.
About 2,000 people were evacuated from houses and nearby lodges in western Glenwood Springs -- some to the Spring Valley Campus of Colorado Mountain College -- seven miles southeast of town on Highway 82.
Sunday's damage from the wildfire in Glenwood Springs
Red Cross representative Kathleen Golding said about 200 people had already made their way to the campus, which had opened its cafeteria and dormitory rooms.
"We know for a fact that a lot of people here won't go home before Wednesday," Golding said.
"Some have lost everything. There's a family of six children and mom and dad, elderly and the handicapped," describing the crowd inside the cafeteria. Golding said 16 beds set aside for the handicapped were instantly filled.
The Glenwood Springs fire may have started from a coal seam in the area that has been burning since the 1970s. Officials said the seam had been blamed for starting other fires in the past.
Glenwood Springs is about 160 miles west of Denver along Interstate 70.
Colorado is a tinderbox with the fire threat in half the state rated in the extreme category, with the rest of Rocky Mountain state earning a high to very high fire danger rating from the Forest Service.
I posted about this topic as soon as I heard about it on the news, and it was deleted by a moderator who says he has friends in Denver and they said it was false. Now besides the fact that it's been on TV news channels all day, it's also on CNN.com........
Vafi88 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 3116 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1111 times:
Sure, why not? Well, today (the 10th) is a hell of a lot better than yesterday. When I went out in the morning to walk my dog, I smelled smoke, a very dense smell too! Then it went all foggy (not a lot) and the sky was covered with smoke and by about 3 o'clock the sun (which is usually light yellow) became pure red! it was more like a lightbulb because I looked at it for about a couple of minutes because it couldn't apperantly get through the dense smoke and became all red and didn't hurt your eyes when looking directly at it. Today, it does not smell like smoke, but there is still smoke up in the air, no red sun, but a dark yellow (or light orange) sun is still visible, doesn't smell like smoke. I am well out of the fire, but there is still a lot of smoke and the visibility is about 10 miles at most, usually around 5 miles visibility, you cannot see the mountans, just the closest part of the foothills.
Man, I hope this thing dies down, a lot of people are saying it hurts their eyes and *allergic* symptoms accure. I'm glad I don't live somewhere where the fire is really near, because if the smoke here is (was) dense, then I can't imagine what it would be like closer to the fire.
I'd like to elect a president that has a Higher IQ than a retarted ant.
Airlinelover From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 5580 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1113 times:
Here's something from one of my Dever friends.. Chat nick DenverDude..
I would like to point out some incorrect news as reported by CNN. I live in Colorado approx. 50 nautical miles north of the fire near Castle Rock and have been monitoring local news since about 2pm MST this afternoon:
“Authorities have drawn up plans to evacuate as many as 40,000 people from the southwestern outskirts of Denver”
This is highly incorrect, Castle Rock is further south than they have said and there has been no mention whatsoever in the breaking news
“Officials Monday evening were preparing to evacuate Perry Park subdivision, a residential neighborhood with a population of 1,549 people, according to Sgt. Atilla Denes of the Douglas County Sheriff's office”
This information is correct and contradicts the previous quote.
“It began as an illegal campfire 40 miles from Denver”
This line total bull crap, they won’t know this for weeks. The only reason the know Glenwood Spring’s fire source is because it has been burning since 1910 in an underground coal seam, one of 29 in the state.
“A spokesman for the Colorado State Forest Service said plans were being made to evacuate as many as 40,000 people from an area just southwest of Denver, a city protected by its terrain -- a plain surrounded by flat grasslands, with few trees to burn”
Now lets see, they contradict themselves in this line. Trees are what are burning, grass is very minor. And as I said before if this was a true 40,000 evacuation I would think they would have it posted all over every station or at least mention it in the news.
“Between 2,000 and 3,000 people were evacuated Sunday in Park, Jefferson and Douglas counties”
One if the few correct pieces of information in this ill written article.
As you can see CNN needs to make sure they need to get facts straight. If people are keep tabs on this fire check other sources such as local web sites such as http://www.fox31news.com . Don’t believe everything you read on CNN, they seem to do a poor job of getting facts straight.
I agree with what he said.. Remember, on 9-11, the news called the planes BoeingAirbuses and stuff.. This thread is locked..
Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply