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Hewlett Fire: Day 4 Updates

Editor's Note: The Hewlett Fire was reported on Monday 05/14/12 on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the Roosevelt National Forest. Our updates on the fire from Monday are archived here, coverage and updates from Tuesday (5/15) and Wednesday (5/16) have been archived here. Friday's (5/17) coverage of the fire can be found at this post.

Updated 8:00 p.m.

The size of the Hewett Fire is now estimated at 7300 acres. It’s still only 5% contained. The evacuation order issued earlier for the Bonner Peak area including Bonner Springs Ranch Road to Highway 287 and south has been lifted.Residents can return to their homes but should remain on alert if conditions should change.The evacuation order for Highway 14 from Greyrock Trail to the North Poudre Dam Diversion, approximately mile marker 113 to 115 is still in effect.  Highway 14 remains closed.

Update 3:15 p.m.

Here are some collected some pictures taken since this morning on Twitter.

Update 3:00 p.m.: Via The Larimer Sheriff On Twitter

Additional evacuations have been ordered for 15 homes on Highway 14 from the Greyrock Trailhead to the North Poudre diversion dam (approx. mile markers 113 to 115). No notifications were sent, deputies have gone door to door.

Update 2:40 p.m.

KUNC reporter Grace Hood is heading to the scene, you can follow her via Twitter @GraceHood for updates.

Notifications were sent to those living in a one mile radius of Mount Mahogany and Gordon Creek Lane as well as the Bonner Park and Bonner Springs subdivisions. All residents in these areas are asked to prepare for a possible evacuation. Information for residents is available at 970-498-5500.

The current numbers on the fire remain 5% containment, 5,090 acres with 391 personnel on site.

Additionally, there is a tentatively scheduled public meeting at the evacuation center for 6:30pm tonight.

Update 11:03 a.m.: Via The Larimer Sheriff on Twitter

Larimer County Sheriff's Office has issued an evacuation order from Bonner Springs Ranch Road to 287 and South. Evacuation Center is being established at Cache La Poudre Middle School, 3515 West County Road 54G in La Porte, Colo.

Update 10:50 a.m.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has announced plans to close Highway 14 at the intersection of US 287 at Ted’s Place starting at noon. The closure is part of a planned burnout to strengthen fires near the Poudre Park area. It is not known how long the road will be shutdown to westbound traffic. Updates can be found at: www.coloradodot.info

Updated 10:10 a.m.

During a 9:30 press briefing, Arapahoe and Roosevelt National Forest spokesperson Jackie Park said winds today are going to be a lot like yesterday, gusty and erratic with gusts 14 to 18 mph. There is also a lesser chance for moisture.

Park says the goal today continues to be public and firefighter safety and structure protection. Crews made good progress on the south side of the fire yesterday. That is in the Poudre Park area along the Poudre River. A burnout operation is scheduled for sometime today to strengthen those lines. This will temporarily shut down highway 14 for incoming traffic in the canyon.

The fires is still 5% containment. As to why the number of acres burned jumped radically from the 982 listed yesterday to more than 5,000 this morning Park said she’s learned to “never try and speculate on any specific number because fire behavior is a force of nature and a force of weather.” She added that they knew it was growing on Wednesday but didn’t want to give out numbers until they could do an infrared over flight to get an accurate map of the fire.

329 personnel are working the fire on the ground. They are being assisted in the air by a heavy air tanker dropping retardant, one heavy helicopter and one light helicopter dropping water. An additional heavy helicopter is on its way today. Structure protection crews are in place near all of the subdivisions of concern.

Update 9:36 a.m.: Via The Larimer Sheriff on Twitter


Update 8:51 a.m.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued a Smoke Health Advisory.

The advisory is valid until noon on May 17th, for the the Poudre Canyon from Hewlett Gulch Fire east to Laporte and Fort Collins.

In areas that have extended impacts from the Hewlett Gulch Fire smoke plume Fine Particulate (PM 2.5) levels could reach the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range Thursday morning.  People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. IF VISIBILITY IS LESS THAN 5 MILES IN SMOKE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD DUE TO A WILDFIRE OR CONTROLLED BURN, SMOKE HAS REACHED LEVELS THAT ARE UNHEALTHY. If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood you may want to remain indoors. This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young, and the elderly. Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present. Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill. In areas with occasional impacts from the Hewlett Gulch Fire smoke plume Fine Particulates levels could reach the Moderate range. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.

Update 8:42 a.m.: Via the Larimer Sheriff on Twitter


8:12 a.m.

From the Forest Service this morning: Due to terrain and shifting winds the fire had significant growth today. An infrared flight is planned for tonight to determine acreage.

Progress has been made on the south and west sides of the fire. No structures are threatened yet. The containment of the fire still stands at 5%. We'll have more updates as information becomes available.

Email: brian.larson@kunc.org
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