Cameron Peak Fire closes large segment of state Route 14

October 15, 2020

Tyson Fisher

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The Cameron Peak Fire, now the largest in Colorado history, continues to burn in the northern part of the state, causing at least one significant highway closure.

As of Thursday morning, the Cameron Peak Fire has scorched more than 160,000 acres about 15 miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes, Colo. This makes the wildfire the largest in Colorado history. Earlier this year, the Pine Gulch Fire near Grand Junction became the largest wildfire after burning 139,000 acres. That fire is now at 100% containment.

However, the Cameron Peak Fire is only at 56%containment, potentially widening its lead as the largest wildfire in Colorado history. The fire started on Aug. 13 in the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests near Cameron Pass and Chambers Lake.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is reporting Route 14 is closed in both directions at Stove Prairie (mile marker 105) to Walden (mile marker 36), about a 77-mile stretch due to the Cameron Peak Fire.

CDOT advises using Interstate 25 to Interstate 80 through Wyoming. Motorists can also take Interstate 25 to Interstate 70 through Colorado. Highway 230 is closed in Wyoming between Woods Landing and the state line. Typically an hour and a half drive, the reroute will add about another two hours to the trip.

For updated road conditions, go to COtrip.org.

Cameron Peak Fire closures

Cameron Peak Fire alt routes
With State Route 14 closed, motorists are advised to use one of the two above alternate routes, adding about two hours to standard trip to Walden, Colo.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has issued several evacuation orders in the area, including more than a dozen mandatory evacuations. As of publication, no injuries or deaths have been reported as a result of the Cameron Peak Fire.

Dry conditions and high winds have made it difficult for crews to contain the fire. Over the next 24 hours, those conditions are expected to continue. In the next 72 hours, forecasters predict 35-45 mph winds, more dry conditions and 15-25% humidity. Those conditions will keep the fire at near-critical to critical conditions through the end of the week. Officials do not expect full containment of the Cameron Peak Fire until around Nov. 8.

Wildfires have been burning out of control this year in Colorado and the West Coast. Earlier this year, the Grizzly Creek Fire in Colorado shut down a portion of Interstate 70 for two weeks. That was among the longest unexpected closure of the interstate in the Glenwood Canyon area. During that same time, wildfires in California had closed about a dozen highways throughout the state. LL

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Tyson Fisher

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.