The Cameron Peak fire, which is blazing just west of Fort Collins in Colorado, is now the state’s largest wildfire on record. Colorado Governor Jared Polis confirmed the news in a tweet last week, according to CNN.
“The Cameron Peak Fire now exceeds 158,000 acres and surpassed the Pine Gulch and Hayman fires to become the largest fire in the history of our state,” he says. “All of Colorado and the world cheer on our brave firefighters in their effort to protect population centers and contain the fire.”
Colorado emergency officials say the wildfire is 62 percent contain as of this weekend. The blaze has consumed more than 164,000 acres according to the latest reports. The massive wildfire began on August 13. It has been fueled by dry weather, heavy winds and rugged terrain that has made it difficult for firefighters to extinguish.
The Pine Gulch fire burned around 139,000 acres earlier this year before being surpassed by the Cameron Peak Fire. In 2002, the Hayman fire burned around 138,000 acres, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
USA Today reports the blaze has burned more than 100 structures. The fire has spread more than 300 square miles since it began in mid-August.
Boulder County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mike Wagner says wildfires have destroyed several structures including occupied homes.
“It is still to dynamic to get in and begin to assess,” he says.
Colorado Dealing With Multiple Wildfires
The Cameron Peak wildfire, along with other, smaller fires, has triggered mass evacuations in some parts of the state. Social media posts from Colorado emergency officials tell a story of just how dangerous the situation is. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office used Facebook to warn residents and business owner of impending danger last week.
“Residents and business occupants should evacuate the area immediately and as quickly as possible due to immediate and imminent danger,” the post says. “Do not delay to gather belongings or make efforts to protect your home or business.”
The cause of the Cameron Peak fire has yet to be determined but emergency officials say “critically dry” conditions in the state played a critical factor in its spread.
H/T: USA Today