Larimer County Wildfire Threatens 50 Homes After Prescribed Burn Gets Out Of Control

Michael Sakas/CPR News
A single-engine air tanker currently stationed at the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit at the Grand Junction Regional Airport.

Update 11:30 a.m.

A fire north of Fort Collins in Larimer County is threatening about 50 homes and has forced mandatory evacuations and some voluntary as well.

The Larimer County Sheriff said Thursday morning that better mapping has set the size of the Elk Fire at 622 acres — the size of the wildfire and the original prescribed burn area. Containment now stands at 40 percent.

The fire — which is burning near the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch — has not burned any homes, but it has damaged one shed, county officials said. There have been no reported injuries.

Mandatory evacuations remain for the community of Glacier View, Gates 7 through 13. There are voluntary evacuations for Gates 1 through 6 that are south of Country Road 74E.

Multiple air quality advisories have been issued due to fires burning around the state. The warning asks that residents in the area consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present. Besides the Elk Fire, officials are still fighting the Decker Fire in Chaffee and Fremont counties, and the Cow Creek Fire in Ouray.

More than 120 firefighters and 10 engines were on scene overnight, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. Four firefighting aircraft operated on Wednesday until dark.

The Coloradoan reports that shifting winds Wednesday pushed a prescribed burn conducted by Nature Conservancy Colorado out of control. The area was part of what was blackened in the 2012 High Park Fire.