• ITVI.USA
    13,683.230
    2,931.500
    27.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.949
    -0.056
    -1.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.680
    -0.650
    -3.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,646.340
    2,945.470
    27.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.960
    0.380
    14.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.710
    0.160
    4.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.290
    -0.010
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.720
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.240
    0.100
    4.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.160
    0.060
    1.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    -5.000
    -3.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    13,683.230
    2,931.500
    27.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.949
    -0.056
    -1.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.680
    -0.650
    -3.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,646.340
    2,945.470
    27.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.960
    0.380
    14.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.710
    0.160
    4.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.290
    -0.010
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.720
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.240
    0.100
    4.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.160
    0.060
    1.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    -5.000
    -3.6%
InsightsNewsWeather and Critical Events

Colorado wildfire prompts road closure, evacuations

Kruger Rock fire in northern Colorado started by tree falling on power lines

Officials in northern Colorado urged residents near the Kruger Rock fire to evacuate immediately, and a stretch of highway in the area remained closed.

The Larimer County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Office said an investigation has revealed that high winds blew a tree onto a nearby powerline causing it to arc and start the fire.


Related: Self-described ‘shaman’ arrested in California wildfire arson


The late-season blaze started early Tuesday morning near Estes Park, just east of Rocky Mountain National Park and about 50 miles northwest of Denver.

The Larimer County emergency management service sent a warning Tuesday, warning of “immediate and imminent danger. Evacuate the area immediately and as quickly as possible. Do not delay leaving to gather belongings or make efforts to protect your home or business.” The agency also issued voluntary evacuation orders for areas further south and east along U.S. Highway 36.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, U.S. Highway 36 will remain closed until further notice because of smoke, and to keep the area free of traffic for firefighting crews. This impacts about a 20-mile stretch from Estes Park to Lyons, which is about 35 miles northwest of Denver.

Officials said no structures had been damaged as of Wednesday morning, but they added that the fire’s location near Estes Park and other small communities that flank it raises the risk of damage.

High winds fanned the flames Tuesday, nearly doubling the size of the fire to 133 acres by Wednesday morning. A KCNC-TV report said that winds cranked to 45 mph Tuesday in the area where the fire was burning.


Related: What does ‘containing a wildfire’ actually mean?


Winds subsided Wednesday but are forecast to increase Thursday, possibly hitting 45 mph again. The air will be very dry and the area is still in a severe drought. As of Wednesday morning, the fire was 15% contained.

The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for the Kruger Rock fire area, but may change it to a more serious red flag warning.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his nearly 20 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.

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