East Troublesome Fire explodes to 170,000 acres, forcing evacuations around Grand Lake and Estes Park | SummitDaily.com

East Troublesome Fire explodes to 170,000 acres, forcing evacuations around Grand Lake and Estes Park

Pre-evacuation notices were issued Thursday morning to residents in Granby and surrounding communities

By Kieran Nicholson, Shelly Bradbury, John Aguilar and Sam Tabachnik
The Denver Post
The East Troublesome Fire is visible from US Highway 40 between Granby and Hot Sulphur Springs.
Eli Pace / epace@skyhinews.com

GRANBY — Driven by strong winds and racing through dry fuels and timber, the East Troublesome Fire in Grand County continued to rage Thursday, growing to 170,000 acres as it crossed the Continental Divide and forced new evacuations around Estes Park.

The fire, which burned an as-yet-undetermined number of homes and buildings while threatening Grand Lake, increased an extraordinary 150,000 acres in size Wednesday night and Thursday to become the second-largest wildfire in Colorado’s recorded history.

“That’s really unheard of for a fire in this part of the world (burning) in timber,” incident commander Noel Livingston said of the wildfire’s growth over the last two days.

All three of Colorado’s largest recorded fires — Cameron Peak, East Troublesome and Pine Gulch — have burned in just the last three months, as a changing climate brings record temperatures, low relative humidity and statewide drought, all fueling explosive fire growth.

“This is the worst of the worst of the worst,” Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said at a morning briefing.

Read more at DenverPost.com.

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