The largest wildfire in Colorado history grew to more than 200,000 acres, officials said Monday, as other blazes continued to bedevil firefighters across the state.
The Cameron Peak blaze in Larimer County had consumed at least 203,604 acres by late morning and was listed at 62 percent contained according to local, state and federal authorities.
High winds have been hindering firefighters struggling to battle the massive blaze that’s been burning for two months in northern Colorado.
Meanwhile about 60 miles south, the Calwood Fire near Boulder had scorched more than 8,700 acres, officials said. At least 26 homes had been lost to the blaze that was also being whipped by high winds, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Division Chief Mike Wagner told reporters on Sunday night.
But as the smoke clears, the list of destroyed homes will likely grow, authorities said.
“There is likely more structures that we just could not get to within that burn area,” Wagner said. “It’s safety issue. Firefighting efforts, we don’t want to compromise those.”
University of Colorado Boulder undergrad Nolan Chinn posted a time-lapse video that included dramatic, night-time footage of flames about 10 miles away from his apartment over the weekend.
“In that moment, it was pretty bad a for a couple hours,” Chinn said on Monday. The 20-year-old Seattle native and mechanical engineering student said he’s confident firefighters will be able to keep the blaze, on the northeast portion of Boulder County, in check and away from more densely populated areas of Boulder.
Winds of about 35 mph over the weekend in Boulder made airdrops difficult, but with those sustained breezes coming down to about 10 mph on Monday, county officials said they were confident of making headway.