Governor Jared Polis (D-Colorado) visited the Incident Command Center for the Grizzly Creek Fire Friday morning where he said getting it under control was the top national priority.
"I was actually just informed that the Grizzly Creek Fire is the top fire priority in the nation right now, " said Polis. "So resources are coming from around the country." He spoke Friday morning at the fairgrounds in Eagle, which is the command center for the fire that has now burned more than 13,000 acres near Glenwood Springs since it was first reported Monday afternoon. It exploded in size within the last day.
Earlier estimated indicated the fire was over 14,000 acres, but due to better mapping the acreage was reduced to 13,441
"We had significant growth on the north, east and northeastern side of the fire, said Incident Commander Mart Adell for Great Basin Team 1.
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The state health department is studying a possible correlation between wildfire smoke and COVID-19.
Mesa County Public Health tells us it's just too soon to tell for sure.
The CDC says the irritation on the lungs from wildfire smoke can make a person prone to getting a lung infection like SARS, the virus that causes COVID-19.
They are most concerned about a specific particle that penetrates deep into the lung.
They say the best thing for now is to stay indoors in a clean air environment, especially for those most at risk.
"People who have preexisting conditions that make them susceptible to COVID are likely to also be susceptible to the fine particular solution in wildfire smoke" says Thomas Orr, regional epidemiologist, MCPH.
Garfield and northern Mesa are under wildfire smoke advisories until Wednesday morning.
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The Cameron Peak Fire which prompted mandatory evacuations Thursday afternoon near Chambers Lake has grown to 2,179 acres as of Friday morning, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office (LCSO).
The wildfire is burning in an area about 60 miles west of Fort Collins. Firefighters are being assisted by several helicopters and preparing for the arrival of additional resources and the Type 2 Team on Friday. An emergency alert sent Thursday from LCSO said there is "immediate and imminent danger" from the fire.
Anyone in the are area from the intersection of Highway 14 and County Road 103 north to Four Corners, as well as the areas around Chambers Lake should evacuate the area as quickly as possible, the message said.
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A push is on to raise money to transform an old fire truck in Evergreen into an educational tool to help spread awareness about wildfire readiness. It comes on the heels of the Elephant Butte Fire, which burned 50 acres in Evergreen and forced hundreds of homes to evacuate for a short time earlier this summer.
The project is being organized by the group Rotary Wildfire Ready, which is funded through the Evergreen Rotary Foundation. Spokesman Doug Turner said the fire gave the Colorado mountain community a big scare. He says the area “dodged a bullet.”
“Wildfire is our biggest risk up here. If we get a Hayman-type fire up here we’re going to have some real issues and right now, frankly, we’re just not prepared and we’re not educated,” said Turner, referring to 2002’s Hayman Fire, which is the largest wildfire in Colorado history.
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Thomas Godinez vividly remembers his first emergency call. He was volunteering with the fire department in Fort Collins when the station received a call about a boat rescue. He was with a bunch of his college friends.
"We thought we'd volunteer and just hang out at that station and work out together," said Godinez.
He remembers someone had fallen out of a boat in Horsetooth Reservoir. The person wasn't wearing a lifejacket, so he said speed was of the essence.
"I just remember my heart pounding out of my chest," said Godinez. "I was not anticipating what it was going to take, the mental fortitude and the physical fortitude, to do this job back then."
Godinez now works at the Castle Rock Fire Department as an engineer and paramedic. He said he loves the variety of his job, but it's a high stress and high stakes environment.
Firefighters responded to a garage fire in Douglas County Thursday afternoon.
South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) first tweeted about an attached garage fire on Deertrail Drive in Douglas County at 2:11 p.m. Thursday. That is in the area of E-470 and South Parker Road.
Firefighters were able to prevent the garage fire from spreading through the wildland and into the neighborhood.
SMFR said a two-car garage and vehicles inside were destroyed and there is heavy damage to an adjacent home. The agency added that there were no fire hydrants in this area so water had to be trucked in by water tenders.
There were injuries reported from the fire, according to SMFR. Franktown Fire and Rattlesnake Fire assisted on the scene of the fire.
A large smoke plume was visible for miles on the southeast side of the Denver metro area.
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