Update: Grand Lake has escaped worst of the Troublesome Fire so far, but there’s extensive damage in surrounding neighborhoods
Update 8 p.m.: Grand Lake has reported there was no known structural damage within Grand Lake as of 6 p.m. Thursday. This includes the historic Grand Lake Lodge, which has stood for 100 years. However, there has been extensive damage in surrounding neighborhoods.
Original story: The East Troublesome Fire was over 170,00 acres Thursday evening, according to the latest figures from fire officials.
The fire grew almost 100,000 acres Wednesday night into Thursday, and officials said that growth was unheard of. The fire experienced another 50,000 acres of growth by 5 p.m. Thursday.
In a bit of good news, containment lines to the south are holding, and fire officials anticipate more work along the southern front, which is threatening Granby. To the east of Granby, crews are working to build a dozer line from Willow Creek toward the Colorado 125 corridor to prevent further spread to the south toward Granby.
Further east, fire crews are working from Willow Creek to US Highway 34 to get to the Lake Granby overlook. The latest report had crews making good progress on that front.
Also, structure protection continues along US 34 up to Grand Lake and the surrounding area. Fighting the fire along the Three Lakes has been one of the hardest things crews have had to do, and that presented a big challenge for them Thursday.
The fire has also crossed US 34 near Grand Lake and moved into Rocky Mountain National Park, which remains closed at this time
There has been at least one spot fire in Rocky as a result of the East Troublesome Fire, and the fear was that spot fire could spread to threaten Estes Park. On one side of the fire, a cold front pulled moister in from the plains and that caused the fire to fall down to the surface and “check itself.” That has kept the fire from moving toward Estes Park.
Meanwhile, the fire continues to spread on its northern and eastern fronts.
In his remarks, Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin was thankful Thursday wasn’t as bad as Wednesday, and he said the sheriff’s office would be focused on life safety for now.
Allowing people to get back into the area to assess damage is something that will take time and happen once it’s safe to do so, Schroetlin said, adding that they will also continue to watch US 40 between Hot Sulphur Springs and Granby.
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