Two largest Colorado wildfires on record shutting down highways

October 23, 2020

Tyson Fisher

|

Several highways are closed as the two largest Colorado wildfires in history burn in the northern portion of the state.

Located north of Hot Sulphur Springs, the East Troublesome Fire grew by more than 100,000 acres in a 24-hour period this week. As of publication, the Colorado wildfire is more than 170,000 acres at 5% containment, making it the second-largest fire in state history.

The largest Colorado wildfire is still burning just north of the East Troublesome Fire about 15 miles southwest of Red Feathers Lakes. The Cameron Peak Fire is more than 200,000 acres at 57% containment.

Although the two Colorado wildfires are relatively close to each other, officials do not think they will merge into one massive fire.

During a news conference on Thursday, Oct. 22, East Troublesome Fire incident commander Noel Livingston said there is potential for the two fires to merge. However, it does not seem likely at this point.

“It is a potential,” Livingston said. “Certainly this year has been one of those years where those low potential events seem to be happening with high frequency.”

The Colorado Department of Transportation is reporting the following road closures due to Colorado wildfires:

  • U.S. 34 between U.S. 40 in Granby and Grand Lake.
  • U.S. 34 Trail Ridge Rd throughout Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • U.S. 34 westbound west of Loveland from Dam Store (mile marker 83) to Estes Park.
  • U.S. 36 between Broadway (north of Boulder) to Lyons.
  • U.S. 36 westbound from Apple Valley Road (west of Lyons) to Estes Park.
  • U.S. 40 between Hot Sulphur Springs and U.S. 34 in Granby.
  • Highway 7 between Lyons and Highway 72 (Peak to Peak Highway).
  • Highway 7 northbound from Highway 72 (south of Allenspark) to Estes Park.
  • Highway 14 between Walden and Rustic.
  • Highway 125 near Granby north of U.S. 40 (Willow Creek Pass) from mile marker 0 to mile marker 27.

Road closures due to Colorado wildfires

There are no estimated times for reopening. CDOT is also discouraging motorists from traveling north/northwest of Boulder and Grand County areas.

Go to COtrip.org for the latest road conditions.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has announced several mandatory evacuation orders for both Colorado wildfires.

Weather conditions may worsen the Colorado wildfire situation. Dry conditions and high winds have fueled fires not just in Colorado but in the West as well.  However, some light precipitation is expected throughout the weekend. On the other hand, high winds are also in the forecast. LL

TA Firestone
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.