8:04am

Mon March 18, 2013
Wildfires

Galena Fire Now 75% Contained, Gusty Winds Still A Problem [Updated]

Firefighters in Larimer County are still working to control a wildfire burning in Lory State Park west of Fort Collins. Officials say the blaze is now 75 percent contained.

Update 2:30 p.m.: Crews are making good progress on the Galena Fire. The 1,348 acre wildfire is currently 75 percent contained. Emergency Services Specialist Tony Simons says containment could increase to 90 percent by 7 p.m. Monday. 

Pre-evacuation orders for residents living north of County Road 38E near the burn zone could be lifted as soon as tonight. Officials are saying the fire was human-caused and are close to wrapping up their investigation.

Update 9:45 a.m.: Officials stated in a release Monday that due to more accurate mapping the Galena Fire now covers 1,348 acres. They also confirmed that containment stands at 75 percent.

Update 11:19 a.m.: The Larimer County Sheriff's Office has released the map of the fire. Officials note that boundaries are not official yet, but based off of the most recent information. We have embedded it below:

Credit Larimer County Sheriff's Office

Our original story continues:

The Galena Fire is reported at 750 – 1,000 acres, although authorities say they’re still mapping the fire, and the acreage will likely be higher once they’ve finished. That effort is expected to be completed Monday.

The fire was reported just before noon Friday, and forced hundreds of people from their homes. Evacuees were allowed to return home Saturday night, although they were asked to be prepared to leave again if needed.

Around 130 fire personnel are battling the blaze. Two Type-2 helicopters dropped water on the blaze for a short time Sunday before being grounded by gusty winds. Officials hope to be able to use the helicopters again Monday, but gusty winds in the forecast may limit the use of aircraft.

A press release from the Larimer County Sheriff's office says winds will continue to be a big factor, and increased smoke will likely be visible throughout the day. Pre-evacuation notices remain in effect.

None of the facilities at Lory State Park that were previously closed have been reopened. The cause and origin of the fire is believed to be human-caused, but officials say it’s not the result of a controlled or prescribed burn.