Skip to content
GRANBY, CO – OCTOBER 22: Smoke builds up in the sky from the East Troublesome Wildfire in Granby, CO on Thursday, OCt. 22, 2020. (Photo by Rachel Ellis/The Denver Post)
GRANBY, CO – OCTOBER 22: Smoke builds up in the sky from the East Troublesome Wildfire in Granby, CO on Thursday, OCt. 22, 2020. (Photo by Rachel Ellis/The Denver Post)

As strong winds relentlessly drove the East Troublesome fire on Thursday, a cold front with cloudy skies and some precipitation calmed down the Cameron Peak fire and two wildfires — CalWood and Lefthand Canyon — burning in Boulder County, where wintry weather conditions continued Friday.

The weather was not as favorable at East Troublesome fire on Friday, although the wildfire slowed considerably from Thursday’s extraordinary pace.

East Troublesome fire

The East Troublesome fire on Friday grew 17,493 acres to 188,079 acres, or almost 294 square miles, according to fire officials. The wildfire, the second largest in Colorado’s recorded history, remained at 5% containment.

The fire blew up on Wednesday and Thursday, forcing thousands of evacuations from Grand Lake to Estes Park and destroying an untold number of homes.

The fire increased an extraordinary 150,000 acres in size Wednesday night and Thursday. Most of that growth came on the northern edge of the fire, near the Jackson County line, as well as the east side, above Estes Park, said Noel Livingston, the fire’s incident commander.

At a Friday evening update, fire officials were relieved to report that the raging wildfire had calmed down.

“We had a real pleasurable day” compared to Thursday, said Dan Quinones, an incident commander trainee on the fire.

Fire official expect winds gusting to 45 mph on the fire area in Grand County with snow showers in the forecast for overnight Saturday.


A helicopter flies through a somewhat ...
A helicopter flies through a somewhat hazy sky due to the Cameron Peak Fire near Horsetooth Reservoir on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020.

Cameron Peak fire

Moist, cold air blanketed the Cameron Peak fire overnight Thursday, fire officials said. Firefighters on Thursday added more fire containment lines along the eastern and southern portions of the wildfire.

On Friday fire crews continued work on containment lines along Buckhorn Road, at the Otter Spot east of County Road 27, and along the southern perimeter.

Fire crews and engines worked the southern boundary with the intent of keeping the fire out of Glen Haven, Drake and other communities.

Structure protection work and strengthening containment lines was carried out Friday in areas of The Retreat, Storm Mountain, and Cedar Park.

Strong westerly winds are in the forecast Friday night, as another cold front approaches the fire area, officials said. Gusts up to 60 mph are possible above 8,000-foot elevations, with gusts from 30 mph to 40 mph possible at lower elevations.

Relative humidity will remain in the 30% to 40% range overnight Friday. A cold front will move across the area on Saturday with increasing chances for snow by Saturday evening. Snow accumulations are likely on the fire Saturday night through Sunday.

The Cameron Peak fire, the largest in Colorado’s recorded history, has burned 206,977 acres, or about 323 square miles, in Larimer County. It is 57% contained.

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a natural color photo of the Lake of the Pines neighborhood and Allens Lake, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, before the CalWood Fire, west of Longmont, Colo., in Boulder County. (Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies via AP)

CalWood and Lefthand Canyon fires

On Friday morning all evacuation orders for residents in the CalWood and Lefthand Canyon fire areas were lifted, according to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.

“Residents may return (and stay) home, but are asked to remain on alert and be ready to evacuate again should fire conditions change,” the OEM said.

Residents in areas with extensive fire damage may be asked to leave at 6 p.m. Friday. The opening is for residents only and their are “soft” road closures where people entering neighborhoods will have to check in with deputies.

Fire behavior on both fires was minimal on Friday, fire officials said. Fire crews patrolled and mopped up at the Lefthand Canyon fire. Fire crews on the CalWood fire on Friday monitored flames “backing down” toward Colorado 7.

The CalWood fire has burned 10,073 acres, or almost 16 square miles, and it is 55% contained. The Lefthand Canyon fire is 100% contained and burned 460 acres.

Wildfire map

Click markers for details, use buttons to change what wildfires are shown. Map data is automatically updated by government agencies and could lag real-time events. Incident types are numbered 1-5 — a type 1 incident is a large, complex wildfire affecting people and critical infrastructure, a type 5 incident is a small wildfire with few personnel involved. Find more information about incident types at the bottom of this page.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.