9:40pm

Fri May 18, 2012
Wildfires

Hewlett Fire: Day 6 & 7 Updates

Firefighters made progress on Friday containing the Hewlett Fire, which has been burning in the foothills northwest of Fort Collins since Monday. So far the blaze has scorched more than 7600 acres

Fire crews are close to full containment on Hewlett Fire.

Update 5/20/2012 9:10 a.m.

Containment and fire size have remained consistent overnight, 85% and 7,685 acres respectively. There are now 582 personnel fighting the fire. Yesterday's weather brought a 1/2" of rain to the fire. From the U.S. Forest Service this morning:

Burned acres by ownership: Private 1,322, state 245, USFS 6,118. Light precipitation was received on the fire over the past 24 hour period. No heavy equipment of any kind was used to construct fire line. All fire control line completed to date on the Hewlett Fire has been handline.

Update 5/19/2012 6:53 p.m.

The Hewlett Fire is now at 85% containment and 7,685 Acres.

Update 5/19/2012 3:40 p.m.

The Forest Service is now reporting that the fire is 7,785 acres.

Update 5/19/2012 2:18 p.m.

Today's weather has helped slow the fire, but has also hampered efforts for firefighters. Containment currently remains 45%. From the U.S. Forest Service:

Three helicopters are assigned to the fire Saturday but have not been able to operate due to weather. Rain has helped fire spread, but it is still burning. Rain has limited access for firefighters in some areas and caused slick conditions.

Update 5/19/2012 9:10 a.m.

On Friday (5/18) firefighters brought containment of the fire to 45%. After an infrared flyover last night, the fire is now 7,689 acres. We have updated the image above with the latest map from that flyover. You can click the image to enlarge it.

From the Forest Service this morning:

There are 592 personnel working the fire. Air resources are assigned to the fire Saturday but may be hampered by weather. The fire had received 0.15" of rain before 7 a.m. today.

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On Friday, more than 500 firefighters worked on the ground. Meantime, a heavy air tanker dropped 8,300 gallons of retardant on the fire.

Around 7 p.m. fire officials lifted mandatory evacuations that had affected 15 homes along Highway 14.

Federal officials say a camper started the blaze with an outdoor stove while on U.S. forest land.

According to an email from the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Forest Service has issued a citation to James J. Weber of Fort Collins for starting the Hewlett Gulch Fire. Weber faces a $300 fine. The Forest Service says it will also pursue Weber for restitution.

Editor's Note: The Hewlett Fire was reported on Monday 05/14/12 on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the Roosevelt National Forest. Our updates on the fire from Monday are archived here, coverage and updates from Tuesday (5/15) and Wednesday (5/16) have been archived here. On Thursday (5/17) the reported size of the fire changed drastically and some evacuations were ordered. On Friday (5/18), more progress was made on the fire and which was threatening Milton Seaman reservoir and the Forest Service identified the human cause of the fire as a camper on the Hewlett Gulch trail.