Update, 5:30pm – The Reservoir Road Fire has grown slightly in the past few hours and has burned 925 acres. Officials continue to put the containment figure at 20 to 25% with no estimate as to when the blaze will be fully contained.
The movement of the fire on the north-northwest line is where the grown occurred. Merlin Green, Division Chief for the Loveland Fire and Rescue, said the west line has been held one-half mile east of Saddle Mountain Road.
Some residents are being allowed back into the area but only temporarily to retrieve animals and only under escort from the Larimer County Sheriff.
One hot shot team member fainted today but has since recovered and is the only known injury from the blaze.
Please scroll down for earlier updates on this story.
- New: Amazing video documents initial response to the Reservoir Road Fire
- New: Resident takes photos of the fight against the Reservoir Road Fire
Update, 2:15pm – At an afternoon briefing, officials announced an increase in the size of the Reservoir Road Fire but also an increase in containment. They also have determined the cause of the blaze and released the addresses of the homes that have been destroyed.
Merlin Green, Division Chief for Loveland Fire and Rescue, said the fire has now burned 900 acres but they have achieved 20% containment. Some of the increase is in an area that the fire jumped a line of retardant that had been put down. Green said the fire is moving to the north-northwest at the current time.
Reflecting the danger the fire presents, a Type I Incident Management Team will be taking over management of the fire tonight at 7:00pm.
Two homes have been confirmed destroyed by the fire. The address for those are 1497 Turkey Walk Trail and 1784 James Park Trail. Within the four-mile radius evacuation area, 200 buildings are known to exist. Additionally, Green said “numerous” autos and trailers have been destroyed.
Fire was human-caused
Officials said the blaze was human-caused by someone burning grass and branches and that fire got out of control Sunday morning. No determination has been made if that person will face criminal charges.
While there is hope for a quick containment of the fire with the large amount of resources on hand, officials said no evacuees would be allowed back into the burn area today. They said the fire was less active today than yesterday but still burning in areas.
The single biggest factor in fighting the blaze is the weather. While winds have been light temperatures have been high and humidity is approaching the single digits.
State of emergency declared for burn area
Colorado Governor Bill Ritter declared a state of emergency for the area of the Reservoir Road Fire. The move frees up $3 million from the state’s emergency funds to help pay for the firefighting efforts against the Larimer County blaze.
The county has released a map of the burn area of the fire which you can view by clicking here (PDF).
- In pictures – Click on the slideshow link to the left for the latest images from the Reservoir Road Fire. Do you have pictures of the fire? Please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post them
- This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available. You can also follow us on Twitter or ‘like’ us on Facebook to stay up to date.
Update, 10:40am – The Reservoir Road Fire has burned approximately 700 acres according to the latest update from fire officials. Some progress has been made toward containment as they said the blaze was 10% contained.
Major Bill Nelson with the Larimer County Sheriff’s office said that two houses have been destroyed as have 4 – 5 outbuildings and severe vehicles and recreational vehicles. No details were provided as to where exactly the losses occurred.
Nelson said that they were lucky that there was so much equipment and manpower nearby at the Fourmile Canyon Fire site. “Without, unfortunately, Boulder having a fire, we never would have had the response we had today, we’d probably be still be trying to find (the resources),” he said.
Evacuation orders remain in effect for all residents within a four-mile radius of Pinewood Reservoir. Officials said it was unlikely that evacuees would be allowed back into the area today.
All roads above the intersection of County Road 18E and County Road 31 are closed.
Original story, 6:38am – A fast moving fire in the foothills west of Loveland exploded on Sunday destroying at least two homes and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of area homes. While the blaze calmed overnight, above normal temperatures and tinder dry conditions cause concern for the fight today.
The blaze started around 10:00am in the area between Pinewood and Flatiron reservoirs. Reverse 9-1-1 calls were sent out by Larimer County and 350 homes in a four-mile radius of the fire were evacuated including those in the Bitter Route Gulch, Quillen Gulch Road, Saw Mill Road and Bone Elk Road areas.
The city of Loveland reports that homes in the Pinewood Reservoir and Saddlenotch areas are threatened. Six structures have been reported destroyed by the fire, two of which were houses. One recreational vehicle also has burned.
The blaze was at one point reported to have covered 1,000 to 2,000 acres. Using GPS mapping officials changed that to 640 acres on Sunday night. Early this morning officials are reporting that the fire is 2% contained.
Resources were immediately pulled from the Fourmile Canyon Fire further south to help with the new blaze and the quick response likely helped to stem further spreading. The Type I Incident Management Team that was working on the Fourmile Canyon Fire has begun supporting the new blaze and brought to bear an arsenal of equipment.
At last count 180 personnel from more than a dozen jurisdictions were involved with the fire. 23 engines, nine tankers and four helicopters have been called in on the fire. Additional manpower and equipment were being staged overnight and will deploy today.
The fire spread quickly in the grassy area of the foothills and soon involved pine trees to the west. Smoke from the fire was seen from the Wyoming border south to the Denver metro area.
National Frugal Living Examiner Marilyn Magee lives approximately four miles from the fire and reported a heavy smell of smoke in the air from the blaze. As night fell on the Colorado foothills Magee said she would be “keeping one eye open” through the night hoping she would not have to evacuate. You can view some of the photos Magee has taken in the slideshow to the left and you call follow her on Twitter for her updates from near the fire.
On the net:
- Listen to Larimer County Fire & EMS
- Listen to the air traffic fighting the Loveland fire
- List of Loveland wildfire resources