Thu July 11, 2013

Crews Fighting Two New Fires In Larimer County

Crews are battling two small fires between Loveland and Estes Park. The fires are burning in steep terrain near Pinewood Reservoir.

Update 9:40 a.m. 7/11/2013:

The Pole Hill Fire is reported to be fully contained. It’s the smaller of the two fires, estimated at roughly 1 acre. Larimer County Sheriff’s spokesman John Schulz says the county’s Emergency Service crews and the U.S. Forest Service will continue working the fire Thursday.

The Hell Canyon Fire, estimated at around 4 acres, is burning west of Pinewood Reservoir between Lyons and Loveland. Schulz says command of the fire was turned over to the USFS Thursday morning.

"Because we have both fires, we’re going to concentrate on the Pole Hill fire," Schulz says. "The Forest Service will be working both fires, and then Lyons Fire will also be assisting [the forest service] with the Hell Canyon fire."

As we reported previously, an additional Type-3 helicopter, stationed in north Fort Collins, is available to firefighters through the end of August. Schulz says it was called into action Wednesday afternoon.

"It was used heavily yesterday, on both of the fires," he says. In addition, a single-engine air tanker made eight drops on the fires.

Our original story continues:

Wednesday, a type-3 helicopter and a single-engine air tanker provided aerial support.

According to the Larimer County Sheriff’s office, the larger of the two blazes, the Hell’s Canyon Fire, was burning on almost five acres as of Wednesday evening, sending up smoke plumes visible to drivers on I-25.

The smaller Pole Hill Fire, is reported to be around an acre. A spokesperson for the sheriff's office said it appears both were started by lightning, although no official cause has been determined yet.

Officials say no structures appear to be threatened, and no evacuation orders have been issued at this time.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s office said in a tweet that the U.S. Forest Service will assume command of the Hell’s Canyon fire Thursday. The Pole Hill fire will be staffed by crews from Lyons Fire, Larimer County Emergency Services and the Forest Service.