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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Crystal Fire Updates

April 3, 10:29 p.m.

Cold temperatures are expected tonight. Five engines will be patrolling the area throughout the night, and returning residents should remain vigilent if evacuation orders are reissued. Weather permitting tomorrow, air resources will be supporting 200+ firefighters.

For complete information on this emergency, see


April 3, 7 p.m.,

New information on size (~4,500 acres) and the structure assessment is available on Inciweb:


April 3, 6 p.m., Larimer County Sheriff’s office

The evacuation orders for the Crystal Fire will be lifted tonight at 7:30 p.m.  At that time residents will be able to return to their properties.  Roadblocks will be maintained through the night and residents will need proof that they live in the area in order to gain admittance.  Third parties will be allowed into the area only in the company of a local resident.

Preliminary damage assessments show approximately 15 homes destroyed along with numerous cars, motor homes, trailer and trucks.  Area residents were being briefed on the damage assessments at a community meeting that started at 6:00 p.m. tonight.  Representatives from the American Red Cross, United Way, Rist Canyon Fire and the Colorado State Forest Service were expected to join the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office at the briefing.

The weather was a “gift” today according to the incident commander as lower temperatures and snow moderated conditions.  Based on current conditions there does not appear to be any active fire threat for the next 24 hours; however, winds are returning tomorrow and through the week.  While it will be cooler this week it is expected to be drier.  Residents are reminded that if conditions change they should be prepared to leave again.

Fire size is currently estimated to be 4,500 acres and is approximately five percent contained.  Work today focused primarily on mapping the fire and doing the damage assessment.

Residents were being asked to insure that the Sheriff’s office at their current contact information.  Everyone is being urged to make sure they are registered for the emergency notification system which can be done at

Management of the fire is still under a local type three team; however, it is expected the fire will be transitioned to a type one team sometime tomorrow.

Unless something significant occurs this evening this will be the final update of the day.  No further media briefings are scheduled at this time.  Regular updates will resume tomorrow.


April 3: 1:23 p.m. Larimer County Emergency Center

More information to be posted shortly, but for right now, be advised that due to a lack of use, the Cache LaPoudre Elementary School shelter will be closed and those resources will be dedicated to the principal shelter at the Big Thompson Elementary School on highway 34 at the Masonville Road. Because of the erratic nature of this burn and other factors, we still are unable to provide any hard numbers on acreage (in the thousands) or homes damaged or destroyed. We have confirmed some homes destroyed primarily from owners taking it upon themselves to inform us, but we do not want to speculate until more damage assessment teams report in this afternoon. We will let you know about this and everything else as soon as we can.

There is also information on the roadblocks. Apparently they are intended to be moved shortly: the roadblock at Stove Prairie School is to be moved down into the Buckhorn Canyon at the juncture of Co Rd. 27 and 44H; the Masonville roadblock will be moved on up canyon to Bear Lair Road. Because of hazards and access problems, that is the best we can do for right now. The snow and rain clearly have helped put this fire down as has the NE upsloping winds and temperatures. There will be information in the not too distant future regarding convening a homeowners meeting to discuss the situation and their options. That announcement should be forthcoming in the next couple of hours.

For complete information on this emergency, see

April 3, 10:30 a.m. Larimer Count Sheriff’s Office

Operations at the Crystal Fire have stepped up this morning with an influx of additional resources.  It is expected there will be approximately 200 personnel on scene today.

Primary objectives for today are to insure public and firefighter safety, begin working on control, determine the file perimeter and begin damage assessments.  Structures have been damaged but the extent and number have yet to be determined.

Estimates remain at a little more than 2,000 acres with little containment.  The weather is beginning to help as it has started snowing in the area and winds have shifted, depending on the area, to push the fire back onto itself.

Roads in the area have been shutdown and are allowing only emergency traffic.  Residents are asked not to attempt to return to the area.


April 3, 8:15 a.m. Larimer County Emergency Center

We ought to know a bit more after the fire management team meets at 0800 hrs for a briefing. But for now, estimtes of the size of the fire now exceed 2,000 acres. There is some eye witness evidence that at least one home has burned in the Redstone Canyon area. Beyond that, we have nothing to report but, as noted, hope to shortly. The good news is that the cold front has basically arrived and there has been reported moisture on the fire already with rain then snow scheduled for later on. Let us hope so.

These Photos were taken by James Young between 12:30 a.m. and 12:45 a.m. from just above Masonville


Crystal Fire, 12:33 a.m. by James Young


Crystal Fire, 12:41 a.m. by James Young
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