Officials report little growth on Cameron Peak Fire as work on “The Thumb” continues – The Denver Post

After a day of mandatory evacuation orders for Red Feather Lakes and Crystal Lakes residents, officials reported little growth from the Cameron Peak Fire in a recorded briefing on Monday.

Still, they warned of incoming fire weather on Tuesday and described efforts to head off an elongated area of fire growth to the north known as “the thumb,” which Cory Carlson of the Southwest Area Incident Management Team 3 again called the team’s “problem child.”

“A lot of effort and a lot of focus was going into working in this area today,” Dave Gesser, incident commander, said of the thumb. He mentioned that three air tankers and five helicopters performed reconnaissance on the fire on Monday, and that an updated acreage was being calculated.

The fire, which began Aug. 13 near Chambers Lake, was burning at 104,157 acres as of Monday morning.

Incident meteorologist Greg Murdoch said during Monday’s briefing that an incoming storm would bring scattered showers as well as potentially dangerous winds to the area.

He was also doubtful that the rain would be enough to extinguish parts of the fire.

“A tenth of an inch is considered to be a ‘wetting rain,’” he said. “Other than maybe just a few spots, most of the fire will receive less than a tenth of an inch of rain tomorrow.”

Carlson talked about the ongoing efforts to contain the fire during his segment of the briefing. He said heavy construction equipment was being used to fell trees in the area of the thumb to hem in the fire, adding that a specialized hotshot crew had been requested to help battle the blaze.

He said firefighters would work overnight on the southeast tip of the thumb to try to head off any weather-related surge on Tuesday.

“Were going to try to make some hay tonight and get on this fire’s edge,” he said.

Larimer County Sheriff’s Office spokesman David Moore also spoke about the evacuations and roadblocks in the area, which are being managed by law enforcement.

He said credentials for those in evacuation zones are available at Fort Collins City Hall, and stressed that only evacuees and first responders were being allowed through a new roadblock at County Road 37 and County Road 74E.

He said the Joint Information Center for the fire is reachable at 970-980-2500 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for those with questions about evacuations, access to property, road closures and other issues.

The fire was again reported at 15% containment on Monday, with the edge about 15 miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes.

The cause remains under investigation.

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