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Cameron Peak Fire grows to largest in Colorado’s history

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The Cameron Peak Fire started on August 13, 2020, on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests near Cameron Pass and Chambers Lake in Colorado. By October 14, it surpassed both the 2002 Hayman and 2020 Pine Gulch fires to become the largest wildfire in history completely contained within the State of Colorado.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

As of 16:30 UTC on August 15, the fire grew to 66 425 ha (164 140 acres) and is 56% contained. The estimated containment date is November 8.

The Cameron Peak Fire has now surpassed the 2020 Pine Gulch Fire, which burned about 56 254 ha (139 007 acres), and the Hayman Fire, which burned through more than 55 846 ha (138 000 acres) in 2002 and destroyed 600 structures.

Image credit: Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2, Antonio Vecoli

On Wednesday, October 14, fire officials upgraded evacuations from voluntary to Mandatory for Lory State Park.

"Residents and business occupants should evacuate the area immediately and as quickly as possible due to immediate and imminent danger. Do not delay leaving to gather belongings or make efforts to protect your home or business," they said in a statement.

"Evacuating immediately not only supports your safety but also allows emergency crews better access to the area."

Image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS, Antonio Vecoli. Acquired October 14, 2020

The fire has so far damaged or destroyed 95 buildings, including 33 homes. 

It was extremely active today as a result of dry conditions and high winds.

High winds will continue to push the fire through the crowns well into the evening hours. High rates of spread and extreme fire behavior are expected.

Continued high rates of spread due to dry conditions and high winds is expected over the next 24 hours.

Featured image: Image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS, Antonio Vecoli. Acquired October 14, 2020

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