Cameron Peak fire grew 20,000 acres Friday — and high winds Saturday could keep it going



The Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires exploded Friday, as high winds and low relative humidity fueled substantial growth.

The Cameron Peak fire grew 20,000 acres Friday, and is now burning 187,537 acres, 293 square miles, in Roosevelt National Forest as of Saturday morning. It remains the largest fire in Colorado history, and is still 57% contained.

Meanwhile, the East Troublesome fire in Grand County grew more than 6,000 acres, and is now burning 11,329 acres, nearly 18 square miles, with 0% containment.

That rapid growth caused the Grand County sheriff on Saturday morning to issue an evacuation notice for both sides of Colorado 125 from mile 5 to the Grand County/Jackson County line, authorities said on Twitter. That same portion of Colorado 125 has been closed to traffic.

An evacuation center has been set up at the Inn at SilverCreek in Granby, 62927 US 40.

The majority of growth Friday from the Cameron Peak fire came on the southeast side of the fire — the same area that exploded earlier in the week, said Michelle Kelly, spokeswoman for the fire efforts.

The fire remained active overnight Friday, Kelly said, and the humidity recovery was poor, meaning the fuels remain ripe for fire activity Saturday.

Firefighters on Saturday are working on structure protection efforts, especially while the winds are lower, she said.

A red flag warning is in effect until at least 8 p.m. Saturday, with winds that could reach up to 70 mph by noon — conditions that could lead to more significant fire growth.

A cold front is expected to move in as the weekend progresses, which would somewhat dampen fire activity, Kelly said. Still, no precipitation is expected.

Kelly stressed that residents should not attempt to get back into their homes if they are in the fire zone.

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