Cooperative Weather Lends A Hand, Larimer County’s Elk Fire Now 80% Contained

Courtesy of the Larimer County Sheriff
Updated fire perimeter map of the Elk Fire, Oct. 17, 2019.

The Larimer County Sheriff Department reports the Elk Fire held steady through Thursday. The better news? Containment of the fire has increased to 50 percent.

A helicopter should soon arrive for water bucket drops on the blaze.

Elk Fire Public Information Officer Jered Kramer said more moderate weather helped with suppression efforts. Mandatory and voluntary evacuations for residents in the area are expected to be lifted Thursday night and Friday morning.

There will be a community meeting Friday, October 18, at 5:30 P.M. at the Livermore Community Church for residents impacted by the fire.

“With the nature of the fuels mostly being tall grasses and shrubs, those fuels dry out quickly. So humidity becomes a big part of the weather picture and it’s very dry up there,” he said.

Kramer said the Larimer Sheriff felt it was better to be cautious and tell people they should stay out of their homes since weather and wind gusts can change quickly. Firefighters are working to contain a wildfire that began as a controlled burn.

Residents were ordered to evacuate on Wednesday. The fire, including the original prescribed burn, covers about 620 acres. Dry, windy weather has kept the fire danger high around much of Colorado.

Normally, Colorado exits fire season by the end of September. Dry conditions and fuels have been aided by westerly winds. Wildfires are still burning across the state near Salida, Rifle and Ridgway.