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Hewlett Fire: Day 5 Updates

The Hewlett Fire is still burning northwest of Fort Collins, it is a human caused fire that has burned 7,673 acres.

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updates on the fire from Monday are archived here, coverage and updates from Tuesday (5/15) and Wednesday (5/16) have been archived here. On Thursday (5/17) the reported size of the fire changed drastically and some evacuations were ordered. Friday night (5/18) at 9:40 p.m. it was reported that the Hewlett Fire was now 45% contained, updates have moved to this post.

From an update on Saturday 5/19 at 9:10 a.m., the Hewlett Fire is 45% Contained and 7,689 Acres. A new infrared flyover map is available as well.

Update 4:12 p.m.

Several events for this weekend have been canceled or postponed. The Keb' Mo' concert at the Mishawaka and the Community Classic Bike Tour among them. North Forty News has a list of these and other events effected by the fire.

Update 3:36 p.m.

Here are some collected photos of the fire today via Twitter.

Update 2:45 p.m.

According to an email from the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Forest Service has issued a citation to James J. Weber of Fort Collins for starting the Hewlett Gulch Fire. Weber faces a $300 fine. The Forest Service says it will also pursue Weber for restitution. According to U.S. Forest Service investigators, Weber was camping on the Hewlett Gulch trail. On Monday the camp stove he was using started the Hewlett Gulch Fire. Weber attempted to stomp out the fire, but was unsuccessful. He fled as the fire spread. Weber later reported that he started the fire to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.  There is no cell service at the location of the origin of the fire.

Update 2:28 p.m.: Via Grace Hood on Twitter


Update 2:18 p.m.

The Denver Post is reporting that federal authorities have cited a Fort Collins man for starting the fire with a camp stove.

Update 1:58 p.m.: Via Greeley Water on Twitter

KUNC's Emily Boyer has more on the threat to the reservoir, including video of a helicopter making a water pickup to help fight the Hewlett Fire.

Update 1:00 p.m.

Progress is being made on the Hewlett Fire. The blaze is now 11% contained. It’s still listed at over 7600 acres or 12 square miles in size. The remaining individuals displaced from their homes in the Poudre Canyon are expected to be allowed to go home by 5 o’clock. Hwy 14 in the canyon is also expected to reopen at that time.

Much of today’s suppression efforts are again weather dependent. Dry, gusty thunderstorms are possible over the burn area as well as hot temperatures. Cooler weather is expected for tomorrow.

The cost of fighting the fire has so far been estimated at $1.2 million. Governor John Hickenlooper has declared a disaster emergency for the Hewlett Fire burning northwest of Fort Collins. The Executive Order makes available $3 million from the state’s Disaster Emergency Fund to help pay for fire suppression.

Perfect Timing?

Colorado Senator Mark Udall (D) released this video on Monday about fire safety and preparedness while planting trees at another recent Colorado burn site.


Update 11:41 a.m.

Containment estimates now stand at 11% for the Hewlett Fire.

Update 11:09 a.m.

We've updated the lead photo on this post with the May 18 Fire Infrared Flight Map. You can click the photo above to enlarge it and see the boundaries of the Hewlett Fire.

Resource levels have changed as well, there are 522 personnel working the fire assisted by air resources, including more ordered.

Other resources are arriving as well as Major King of 7 News noted on Twitter:


Update 9:00 a.m.

Governor John Hickenlooper has declared a disaster emergency for the Hewlett Fire burning northwest of Fort Collins. The Executive Order makes available $3 million from the state’s Disaster Emergency Fund to help pay for fire suppression. The Governor has also activated Colorado National Guard resources to help the Forest Service fight the fire.

Officials say they made significant progress on Thursday as winds died down. Around 6pm last night residents of about 65 homes along Bonner Springs Ranch Road were allowed to return home.

While access to the Poudre canyon was restricted on Thursday, only residents between mile markers 113 to 115 have mandatory evacuations in place for a precautionary burnout operation.

Although the fire is only 5% contained, Fire incident commander Todd Richardson says the weather and lack of wind look favorable for containing the fire.

“We might have a few t-storms popping, pushing the weather around. I think the weather overall is good because it will let the fire eat itself up within the parameter, and that means we have less to work with.”

Steep, rocky terrain, lack of roads and wind were hampering firefighting efforts earlier this week. Nearly 400 firefighters are at the scene.

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