Update 5 p.m., Larimer County Sheriff’s Office
Firefighters put in good effort today building containment lines around the fire. An updated containment percentage and total number of acres will not be available until tomorrow morning after crews finish updating information tonight. The latest information is available on the U.S. Forest Service’s Incident Information website at www.inciweb.org/incident/2161. Mapping continued today and we expect more accurate figures on the acreage.
The weather cooperated again today allowing for numerous bucket drops by the two helicopters assigned to the fire. Water was being taken from Horsetooth Reservoir for the helicopter drops. While a heavy tanker was available it was not utilized today.
There continues to be quite a lot of heat in the fire and safety concerns are paramount.
Residents continued returning to their homes today but were reminded to be prepared to leave again if conditions changed. Roads continue to be open only to area residents.
Weather forecast for tomorrow is warm, windy and dry. Winds are forecasted to be up to 40 miles per hour.
The Rural Electric Association and Amerigas had crews in the area inspecting their facilities and doing repairs.
The Crystal Fire Joint Information Center remains open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to provide emergency information and answer questions. The number is 970-498-5500.
Update 11 a.m. Larimer County Sheriff’s Office
From our recent press release: Five engines patrolled the Crystal Fire area last night as residents were allowed to return to their homes. Four additional 20-person crews were ordered overnight to assist with the fire today. While the weather has helped diminish the active fire, digging out the fire in the heavy pine timbers will take some time.
Mapping of the fire is continuing with the fire area reported to be about 4,500 acres with approximately 5% containment. Damage assessments are continuing today. The number homes damaged is currently estimated at 15. Numerous vehicles and outbuildings were also damaged.
Weather in the area continued to be cool but drier; however, an increase in the winds was expected later today. Residents are reminded that conditions could change and should be prepared to leave again if necessary.
Access to the area is still restricted to the general public and only residents are being allowed in. Roadblocks remain in place. There are a large number of emergency vehicles still on the roads in the area.
One heavy tanker and three helicopters, one for reconnaissance only, are available today for retardant and bucket drops. There were two retardant drops yesterday before the weather changed preventing further flights. Helicopter drops are just underway this morning.
The evacuation center at Big Thompson Elementary School remained open last night but has been closed this morning. The American Red Cross remains on standby to reopen the center if needed.
Fire command continues to report there have been no injuries.
The cause of the fire is under active investigation.