Halligan Fire in Colorado shows no overnight growth, weather is concerning
According to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, there was no growth Tuesday night in the Halligan Fire northwest of Fort Collins.
The fire is at 150 acres with 50% containment, the sheriff’s office said Wednesday morning.
About 100 people will work on the lightning-caused fire that broke out late Monday night in a remote, rugged area near Halligan Reservoir, about 30 miles from Fort Collins.
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The plane is due to fly over the blaze on Wednesday to map, search for hotspots and determine if air support will be needed to fight the blaze. A helicopter is on standby if needed, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.
The Boulder National Weather Service issued a red flag warning from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday for the northeast corner of the state. The area is at increased risk of fire due to high temperatures, low relative humidity, and wind direction and speed.
The warning extends to just east of Fort Collins and does not include the Halligan fire area. Still, many of the same conditions that triggered the warning will exist during Wednesday’s fire.
The Weather Service forecast for Fort Collins on Wednesday is a high of 95 with winds northwest 7 mph to 12 mph in the morning becoming west northwest 13 mph to 18 mph in the afternoon and gusts may reach 30 mph, which will hamper firefighting. .
There is a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon.
The sheriff’s office said there were five lightning strikes in the area where the fire started on Monday.
The City of Fort Collins owns the Halligan Reservoir Dam and the land immediately surrounding and below the reservoir. Water from the reservoir is owned and managed by North Poudre Irrigation Company and is used primarily for irrigation.
The city is monitoring the movement of the fire for potential impacts to city-owned infrastructure.
Larimer County issued fire restrictions effective noon Wednesday for areas in the unincorporated area of the county. The restrictions were prompted by weather forecasts of hot, dry weather with low humidity ahead of July 4.
Here is an overview of the restrictions:
- Use of fireworks and public fireworks
- Open fires, including camping and cooking fires
- Smoking outdoors, including on trails, in parks, or in open spaces
- Use of combustible devices, including sky lanterns, explosive munitions, explosive targets, or tracer munitions
- Weld outdoors, depending on conditions
- Public fireworks approved by the appropriate fire department or district
- Open fires confined in permanently constructed masonry or metal chimneys specially designed for fires
- Gas or liquid fuel fires, including portable heaters, grills and camp stoves
- Charcoal barbecues used in a private residence and operated on a noncombustible surface at least 10 feet in diameter
- Fireplaces or wood stoves inside permanent structures
- Fires in commercially operated wood or charcoal grills designed for cooking
- Fires in air curtain burners
- The use of an internal or external combustion engine with a properly installed, maintained, and operating spark arrester device that meets published standards
- Welding in a closed building
- Welding outdoors, as long as: there is no vegetation within 30 feet, wind speed is less than 10 mph and a fire extinguisher is readily available
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Colorado journalist Sady Swanson contributed to this report.
Journalist Miles Blumhardt seeks stories that impact your life. Whether it’s news, outdoors, sports – you name it, it wants to report it. Do you have a story idea? Reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @MilesBlumhardt. Support his work and that of other Colorado journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.