US Highway 34 from Granby to Grand Lake evacuated for East Troublesome Fire
Update 1:30 a.m.: Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said he didn’t know what the county would wake up to this morning while shooting a 1 a.m. video from the entrance to Grand Lake.
“It was a challenging day,” the sheriff said as he talked about how quickly the East Troublesome Fire spread overnight and praised emergency crews and the community for their efforts.
Radio traffic, Facebook posts and reports from the evacuation center have confirmed homes were destroyed in the fire, though it is not clear how many.
“Daylight is going to tell us a lot,” the sheriff said.
Update 11 p.m.: US 40 and US 34 remain closed near Granby with US 34 closed between US 40 and Grand Lake. This safety closure is for both directions of traffic. US 40 continues to be closed in both directions between Hot Sulfur Springs and US 34.
Update 10 p.m.: The Grand County Office of Emergency Management confirmed that the fire is threatening the Grand Lake area. Crews are working to contain the fire to the west side of US Highway 34.
Officials will not be updating the acre and fire perimeter until Thursday when a morning flight is possible. Homes have been lost in the fire, though it is not clear how many.
A resource center for evacuees has been established at the Inn at Silver Creek at Granby Ranch. Many of the cars evacuating the area passed the lefthand turn into Granby Ranch on Wednesday night, though a large number of people did seek help there.
The meeting point is at the convention center, all the way at the back of the inn, accessed by following the parking lot all the way around the building.
Outside the center, there are poster signs fixed to the door letting people know where they can seek help. Inside the center, a team of people was focused on delivering in-person assistance for those in need.
“There are people and resources here to help our community,” said Deb Ruttenberg, director of Human Services for Grand County. “We are helping people who may or may not have the ability to fill out the online evacuation form.”
If people don’t have a place to stay, she added, the team can help evacuees find lodging through the Red Cross, which will cover the cost of the accommodations.
“Some people have resources, other people don’t and we’d really like to preserve the Red Cross sheltering resources for people who really have no other options,” Rubberberg said. “That’s what’s happening here.”
People at the center estimated they had seen about 50 evacuees by 10 p.m. Wednesday night. There were likely more aided by the effort, as many groups had one go inside while other people waited in the full parking lot.
Some people struggled to find the meeting point inside the convention center, not realizing they needed to follow the parking lot around the inn all the way to the back.
Ruttenberg said the team of helpers would be at the inn as long as needed Wednesday night and again on Thursday.
Update 9:30 p.m.: US Highway 40 is closed between the intersection of US Highway 34 and Highway 40 west to Hot Sulphur Springs for fire operations.
Grany and Hot Sulphur Springs residents should be aware the firefighters will be conducting burn operations north of Highway 40 between Hot Sulphur and Highway 34. Flames will be visible.
Town Manager John Crone described the situation in Grand Lake as “rapidly evolving” over the phone Wednesday night.
While he was not in Grand Lake as the evacuations began, he said that flames are visible to the west of town. Town staff was assisting with efforts to get people out of their homes, he added.
“It’s not looking good is what I’ll say,” he said.
If for some reason people cannot evacuate, Crone said they should go the fire station in town.
“We just have to hope and pray that everyone makes it out of this OK,” Crone added. “Remember possessions are possessions. People are going to need help after this, but lives are more important.”
Rocky Mountain National Park has closed its west side due to the fire activity. Trail Ridge Road remains open for east bound evacuations, but there is low visibility due to smoke.
All areas north of Granby on US 34 are under mandatory evacuations. Residents should leave immediately.
Update 8:45 p.m.: Emergency officials have designated both lanes of US Highway 34 as southbound to aid evacuations from the area.
Update 8 p.m.: Another evacuation has been issued for the area north of the intersection of US Highway 40 and US Highway 34, known as Area H on the Grand County Sheriff’s Office map.
Update 7:30 p.m.: The Grand County Sheriff’s Office is now evacuating all homes along US Highway 34, north of milepost 3.
Colorado State Patrol is blocking US 34 north, while a line of cars is headed south as people evacuate the area.
During an evening update on the fire, it was mapped two different times and is estimated somewhere between 24,700 acres and 30,000 acres.
Original: The list of evacuations tied to the East Troublesome Fire grew Wednesday night with the Grand County sheriff issuing another one for the Trail Creek Subdivision.
The newest evacuation is effective for Area I, indicated on the latest evacuation map. The evacuation comes as flames are now visible from US Highway 40, Granby and the surrounding areas.
The area east of CO Highway 125 from milepost 5 to US Highway 40, known as area E on the maps provided by the sheriff’s office, was evacuated around 4 p.m. Wednesday. US 40 will remain open, but CO Hwy 125 is closed.
Wednesday has seen significant fire activity with Red Flag conditions, including strong winds, pushing the fire east and south. Around 2:30 p.m., the fire crossed Colorado Highway 125.
The areas west of CO 125, from US Highway 40 to milepost 5, and north of US 40, from CO 125 west to Drowsy Water Ranch were evacuated Tuesday evening.
For the latest information on evacuation and pre-evacuation areas, sign up for CodeRED alerts via the app or at gcemergency.com.
The evacuation center is the Inn at Silver Creek in Granby, 62927 US Highway 40.
Sign up for alerts via the CodeRED app or gcemergency.com
Evacuees — If you have evacuated or choose to evacuate, please register at http://www.co.grand.co.us/1354/East-Troublesome-Fire
Shelter — Grand County residents only. If you need Red Cross sheltering, please call 970-242-4851 (24 hour line) or 970-406-0641.
Livestock — Middle Park Fair and Rodeo Grounds in Kremmling has space available for large animals and a barn available for small animals. Call 970-531-3847 for questions.
Household pets — Call the animal shelter at 970-531-3847. Also Grand County Online Garage Sale has people who are willing to help.
• East Troublesome Fire on Facebook
• Grand County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook
• Sign up for CodeRED Alerts at gcemergency.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grand County make the Sky-Hi News' work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User