PHOTOS: Smoke From East Troublesome, Cameron Peak Fires Blankets Grand County and Estes Park

Mandatory evacuations are underway in Estes Park as the Cameron Peak fire and the East Troublesome fire threaten the area. Oct. 22, 2020Mandatory evacuations are underway in Estes Park as the Cameron Peak fire and the East Troublesome fire threaten the area. Oct. 22, 2020Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Mandatory evacuations are underway in Estes Park as the Cameron Peak fire and the East Troublesome fire threaten the area. Oct. 22, 2020

Early Thursday morning, the East Troublesome fire burning in Grand County exploded in size — jumping from 30,000 acres to more than 125,000.

The fire prompted immediate evacuations of hundreds of people in Grand Lake and the surrounding areas.

Crews fighting the fire expect another day of large fire growth.

Nearby — north of Grand Lake and west of Fort Collins — the Cameron Peak fire is still actively burning, at more than 206,000 acres.

Here's a look at what our reporters are seeing.

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Granby, early Thursday morning

Around 2 a.m., CPR News Visuals Editor Hart Van Denburg arrived in Granby in Grand County, which is about 15 miles from Grand Lake.

EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The East Troublesome fire burns just a few miles from Granby in the early hours of Thursday morning, Oct. 22, 2020. The blaze grew to about 30,000 acres on Wednesday, burning all the way to Grand Lake, which has been evacuated.
EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The East Troublesome fire burns just a few miles from Granby in the early hours of Thursday morning, Oct. 22, 2020.
EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The East Troublesome fire burns just a few miles from Granby in the early hours of Thursday morning, Oct. 22, 2020.
EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The East Troublesome fire burns just a few miles from Granby in the early hours of Thursday morning, Oct. 22, 2020.

Estes Park, early Thursday morning

Around 6 a.m., Denverite photojournalist Kevin J. Beaty and CPR News climate reporter Michael E. Sakas arrived in Estes Park. While stopping for coffee at Big Horn, Kevin ran into firefighters fueling up for the day.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Hygiene Firefighters Nicole Palestro, Kirsten Barry and Dylan Miraglia sip coffee at Big Horn in Estes Park before their shift fighting fires in the area — both the Cameron Peak fire and the East Troublesome fire are burning near Estes Park. "We're hoping for snow," Nicole says. Oct. 22, 2020
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Outside the Big Horn coffee shop in Estes Park early Thursday morning, firefighters fill up on what's looking to be a long day. Both the Cameron Peak fire and the East Troublesome fire are burning nearby. Oct. 22, 2020
In a parking lot in Estes Park under a smoky sun, a crow observes the world from a light pole. Ash from nearby the nearby Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires drizzles on the ground. Oct. 22, 2020.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Smoke from the East Troublesome fire in Grand County hovers over Lake Estes in Estes Park on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020
Michael Sakas/CPR News
A smoky sun in Estes Park on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Smoke from the nearby Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires is covering the town.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Smoke from the East Troublesome fire hovers over Lake Estes in Estes Park early in the morning on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Smoke from the East Troublesome fire and Cameron Peak fire looms over the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
Michael Sakas/CPR News
The smoke in downtown Estes Park from the nearby East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fires. Oct. 22, 2020.
Michael Sakas/CPR News
Gary Williams stands in a parking lot in Estes Park. Williams lives in Pinewood Springs, where in 2013 he was helicoptered out of due to flooding. “I’d rather have the flood than the fire,” he said. “A fire, it’s almost, you can’t stop it.” He’s getting ready to evacuate just in case. Oct. 22, 2020

Grand County, Thursday morning

At 9:15 a.m., Rocky Mountain National Park announced it was closed to visitors due to fire activity on the west side of the Continental Divide. "Currently, air quality is hazardous," the park tweeted.

EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A roadblock on Hwy. 34 in Granby Thursday morning Oct. 22, 2020, with smoke from the East Troublesome fire in the background.
EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Emergency vehicles at a roadblock on Hwy. 34 in Granby Thursday morning Oct. 22, 2020, with smoke from the East Troublesome fire in the background.
EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Smoke from the East Troublesome fire drifts east, seen from the junction of Hwy. 40 and 34 in Granby Thursday morning Oct. 22, 2020.
EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Grand Lake resident Cosmin Balas stops at the road block on Hwy. 40 and 34 in Granby Thursday morning Oct. 22, 2020, looking for information on how the town fared after yesterday’s evacuation order ahead of the East Troublesome fire. He said he had about an hour to get out of town, and stayed with friends in Granby for the night.

Estes Park, late Thursday morning

Later in the morning, around 10:30 a.m., Kevin headed north of Estes Park, closer to the Cameron Peak fire.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
North of Estes Park, smoke and ash from the nearby East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fire cover the trees, the mountains and the grass.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
North of Estes Park, smoke and ash from the nearby East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fire cover the trees, the mountains and the grass.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Volunteers north of Estes Park near Glen Haven serve, under a blanket of smoke, snacks and drinks to first responders fighting the nearby East Troublesome fire and Cameron Peak fire. Oct., 22, 2020.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Estes Park officer Andrew Johnson lives down this hill in Glen Haven, which was hit hard by the floods here in 2013. He evacuated due to the nearby fires a week ago, and he sure hopes his home is ok. The hamlet is home to a lot of law enforcement, and the situation has made their jobs more complicated. Oct., 22, 2020
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
North of Estes Park, smoke and ash from the nearby East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fire cover the trees, the mountains and the grass.

Granby, pre-evacuation orders, late Thursday morning

Around 11:45 a.m. the town of Granby in Grand County went on pre-evacuation orders.

EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The Grand County Emergency Operations information center set up inside the Inn at Silvercreek in Granby Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Volunteers unload donated food at the Grand County Emergency Operations information center set up inside the Inn at Silvercreek in Granby Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Volunteers unload donated food at the Grand County Emergency Operations information center set up inside the Inn at Silvercreek in Granby Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The East Troublesome fire burns near Granby Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The East Troublesome fire burns near Granby Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The East Troublesome fire burns near Granby Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The East Troublesome fire burns near Granby Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, as a state Trooper is stationed at a roadblock on Hwy. 40.

Estes Park, mandatory evacuation orders. Thursday afternoon

Around 1:00 p.m., the Larimer County Sheriff's Office ordered mandatory evacuations for the western part of Rocky Mountain National Park and much of Estes Park. Michael Sakas and Kevin J. Beaty are stuck in gridlock traffic, trying to get out.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Mandatory evacuations are underway in Estes Park as the Cameron Peak fire and the East Troublesome fire threaten the area.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Mandatory evacuations are underway in Estes Park as the Cameron Peak fire and the East Troublesome fire threaten the area.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Mandatory evacuations are underway in Estes Park as the Cameron Peak fire and the East Troublesome fire threaten the area.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Mandatory evacuations are underway in Estes Park as the Cameron Peak fire and the East Troublesome fire threaten the area.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Smoke and ash from the nearby East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fires loom over Estes Park, where there are mandatory evacuation orders. Oct. 22, 2020.

Granby, Thursday afternoon, smoke and wind

Thursday afternoon in Granby, the wind picked up. It didn't make anything easier for firefighters or evacuees (or photographers).

EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GRANBY 201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The East Troublesome fire burns near Granby Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, as a firefighting aircraft passes overhead.
TROUBLESOME-FIRE-GRANBY-201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
With the East Troublesome fire blowing close to Granby, officials posted a pre-evacuation notice Thursday afternoon, Oct. 22, 2020. Motorists joined a long slow procession out of town on Hwy. 40 south.
TROUBLESOME-FIRE-GRANBY-201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
With the East Troublesome fire blowing close to Granby, officials posted a pre-evacuation notice Thursday afternoon, Oct. 22, 2020. Motorists joined a long slow procession out of town on Hwy. 40 south.
TROUBLESOME-FIRE-GRANBY-201022Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Horses belonging to Grand Lake evacuees Amber Holleman and John Saldate are tied to their trailer at a fairground south of Granby as the East Troublesome fire grows in the background on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. They were given less than 15 minutes to evacuate their home Wednesday night, and they slept in the trailer. On Thursday they looked at the latest maps of the fire and are gravely concerned they may have lost their home.

Update at 6:00 p.m.: The East Troublesome Fire is now more than 170,000 acres. Our reporters are safe, and we hope you are too. More photos tomorrow.