Smoke from CO Wildfire to Spread Across Front Range

Two fire apparatus

DENVER (AP) — Heavy winds were forecast to bring smoke to much of Colorado’s Front Range on Labor Day as a growing wildfire triggered new evacuation of homes and business in the mountains north of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Cameron Peak Fire near Red Feather Lakes had spread across more than 92 square miles (238 square kilometers) by Monday morning, an increase of about 39 square miles (101 square kilometers) from the day before.

The fire was threatening homes and businesses along Highway 14 including the Glacier View subdivision, which was ordered evacuated Monday morning due to “immediate and imminent danger,” the Larimer Couny Sheriff’s Office said.

Evacuation orders for other areas remained in effect after being issued Sunday. Thousands of houses, commercial building and other structures are in the general vicinity of the blaze.

Winds of up to 40 mph (64 kph) and dry weather were in the short-term forecast, creating potentially dangerous conditions.

A cold front overnight Monday was forecast to drop six to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) of snow across the burn area with temperatures dropping to around 20 degrees (-7 Celsius) by Tuesday morning.

That could help crews contain the uncontrolled blaze, although the snow was not expected to extinguish it altogether.

The state health department warned of poor air quality across much of the Front Range that could be unhealthy for older adults, children and people with lung disease or respiratory illnesses.

Health officials issued a separate smoke advisory for areas of northwestern Colorado due to fires burning in neighboring Utah.

Closures of U.S. Forest Service land were extended to include areas east of the fire nearly to Fort Collins.

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