Mandatory Evacuations Ordered for Colorado Wildfire

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. -- A mandatory evacuation order has been issued Thursday for residents on Bonner Springs Ranch Road to Highway 287 and south. The order includes Deer Valley Road, Obenchain Road and Ingleside Road.

An evacuation center was being set up at Cache La Poudre Middle School at 3515 W CR54G. Large animals can be taken to "The Ranch" otherwise known as the Larimer County fairgrounds.

A public meeting is tentatively scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the evacuation center.

Highway 14 Closed

Meanwhile, threatening flames forced authorities to close 15 miles of Highway 14 between Ted's Place and Stove Prairie Road about 1:30 p.m., authorities said.

Several other neighborhoods remain on standby to evacuate. That includes residents along Highway 14 from mile marker 110 to 115, residents within a one mile radius of Mount Mahogany and Gordon Creek Lane and residents in the Bonner Peak subdivision.

New infrared mapping shows the Hewlett Fire in Poudre Canyon has burned 5,090 acres, U.S. Forest Service officials said. More than 391 fire personnel will work the fire Thursday.

Students in the Poudre School District have been held indoors because of the amount of smoke and haze in the area. Recess was held indoors and afternoon and evening activities have been canceled at Cache La Poudre Elementary, the school's principal said.

The wildfire is burning in rough, steep terrain about 20 miles northwest of Fort Collins. Officials said the fire was human-caused. The fire started Monday, around 1 p.m. near the Hewlett Gulch trail.

It remains only 5 percent contained.

Smoke from the fire can be smelled from all over the Denver metro area.

Pre-Evacuation Notice

Residents in the standby zone who decide to evacuate are being asked to put a white towel on their front door to alert firefighters that they have evacuated.

"You can also call Larimer County Emergency Communications at 970-416-1985 to let officials know you have left," the standby evacuation alert said.

391 Firefighters, 1 Air Tanker , 2 Choppers Fighting The Fire

There are 391 firefighters at the Hewlett Fire. The U.S. Forest Service said a heavy air tanker and Type 1 and 3 helicopters are working on the fire.

Two more air tankers and two more helicopters have been requested.

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