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Estes Park Fire: 100% Containment Expected By Sunday Night

Crews worked to fight a fire in Estes Park on Saturday afternoon. The fire was near the Beaver Meadows entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Update 06/24/2012 6:06pm

With officials expecting to have full 100% containment of the fire by 7pm Sunday, the final tally on acreage burned is 27.3.

Additional structures were identified as destroyed since our last update. The official confirmed number is now 22 homes and 2 outbuildings lost. Power should be restored to the evacuated area soon.

Officials will lift the evacuations for the fire area on Monday June, 25th. Information on reentry for evacuees will be given at the evacuee meeting Sunday, 8pm at Estes Park High School.

Update 06/24/2012 2:46pm

One additional structure was found destroyed today; the total of confirmed structures lost is now 22. Today’s identified structure is an outbuilding, not a residence. Containment remains at 75%.

The cause of the Woodland Heights Fire is still under investigation.

Update 06/24/2012 9:58am

The Woodland Heights Fire is now 75% contained, but still burning so residents should remained prepared. Mop up operations and hot spot work are underway and have been thought the night. The Estes Park Fire Chief will be reexamining containment today.

No official cause has been determined at this time and remains under investigation.

Update 06/24/2012 7:45am

The Woodland Heights Fire burned in Estes Park at High Drive near the junction of Hwy. 36 and Hwy. 66, near Rocky Mountain National Park, just north of the Beaver Meadows entrance station.

Initial reports of the fire came just after noon. The Daily Camera pinpointed the start of the fire at 1600 High Drive. Air support was called in from the High Park fire, which included heli-tankers.

Residents saw an immediate response to the fast spreading fire once helicopters quickly made it on site. Speaking in the afternoon briefing on Saturday on the High Park Fire, officials noted it was only 20 miles as the crow flies for air support to get to Estes Park from the Fort Collins area.

Social media quickly filled with pictures and video of both a water bucket helicopter and a Type 1 skycrane as we’ve collected below in the Storify of updates. Air resources drew water from Mary’s Lake to fight the blaze.

Officials confirmed last night that 21 structures were lost in yesterday's fire. The Denver Post quoted Estes Park fire chief Scott Dorman at the evening briefing.

"Even though we lost 21 homes, which is a huge tragedy, we saved many homes because of firefighters' efforts," Dorman said as the gym erupted in applause.

No cause of the fire has been released as officials are still investigating. The Longmont Times-Call has collected some pictures from Saturday's fire.

Update 8:02pm

Officials speaking at the evacuee meeting this afternoon held at Estes Park High School confirmed that 21 structures were lost in today's blaze. According to scanner traffic this evening, the cause of the fire is suspected to be human. Possibly due to the burning of trash. It is important to note, that this has not been confirmed yet by officials.

I've posted a video found on YouTube of one of the Type 1 Helicopters grabbing water to fight the fire here.

Update 4:32pm

Officials spoke during the afternoon media briefing at the High Park Fire about the new fires burning across Colorado, specifically the Estes Park fire – which is now being called the Woodland Heights Fire. Resources were diverted from the High Park to fight the fire. The Estes Park fire is only 20 Acres and in the middle of a ‘bunch of homes’. Air resources were moved to Estes, 4 Helicopters by Larry Helmerick’s recollection. He said he’s “Not sure it is a terrible drain”.


Scanner traffic indicates that there is a SEAT (Single Enging Air Tanker) on site to fight the fire. The Coloradoan had reported earlier today on Twitter that a tanker had been diverted from fighting the High Park Fire to go to Estes Park.

Picture posted by 9News indicate some homes have been burned and the Coloradoan reports that the number of affected homes is 10. Scanner traffic would seem to indicate that the fire is in the areas of Larkspur Rd., Bluebell and Narcissus.

Smoke is visible on several webcams, including one aimed at Longs Peak and another near the Stanley Hotel.

We've started a Storify to follow the developments on this fire:

I’m not a Colorado native (did you know that "I'm from Missouri" means "I'm skeptical of the matter and not easily convinced?") but I have lived here for most of my life and couldn't imagine leaving. After graduating from Colorado State University, I did what everyone wants to do; I moved to the mountains and skied, hiked, and hid from responsibility! Our listeners in the mountains may know me from my time in Steamboat Springs and Vail or as the voice of the Battle Mountain Huskies Hockey team in Vail.
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