The Kruger Rock fire, which has burned 146 acres southeast of Estes Park, is 60% contained, according to firefighters.
The fire, which started early Tuesday, had minimal growth Thursday, according to a U.S. Forest Service news release. A red flag warning for extreme fire danger because of “very dry weather” with single-digit humidity and strong winds is in effect for the area through 5 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Overnight winds Thursday could gust up 40 mph.
Firefighters on Thursday built and secured firebreak handlines, the forest service said. More than 200 firefighters are battling the the fire, which was creeping and smoldering Thursday. Below- freezing temperatures overnight helped the fire to lay down.
No aircraft were used Thursday to fight the fire. On Tuesday, a pilot for CO Fire Aviation, a Fort Morgan company, died when his plane crashed while fighting the fire. Marc Thor Olson was an Army and Air Force veteran pilot using a novel nighttime technique when the crash happened.
Aircraft will be available Friday to support ground crews if weather conditions allow, the forest service said. Firefighters have been patrolling and monitoring the fire.
The fire was reported at about 5:50 a.m. Tuesday near near Little Valley and Fish Creek roads. It was sparked when strong winds toppled a tree, which downed a powerline. No structure damage has been reported. An area on the north side of the fire near along North St. Vrain Avenue remains under mandatory evacuation.
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