Cameron Peak fire: Strong winds and dry weather fuel the fire on Tuesday

Air support on Monday at the massive Cameron Peak fire was the busiest it’s been since the fire started with over 60 hours of flight time.

Water and fire retardant drops were used on the southeastern edge of the fire near Glen Haven, The Retreat and Storm Mountain, fire officials said Tuesday morning. Firefighters are battling the fire to keep flames out of those areas and spreading south.

Firefighters ran aircraft, including 747 jets, Monday from “sun up to sun down,” said Paul Delmerico, operations section chief of the fire, at a Tuesday morning briefing.

Firefighters worked overnight and the fire was extremely active on Storm Mountain, Delmerico said, driven by down-slope winds.

“Fire likes to run downhill at night,” he said. “We’re definitely working around the clock — 24 hours a day.”

The fire, the largest in Colorado history, has burned 205,004 acres, about 320 square miles, since starting on Aug. 13 about 15 miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes. The fire is 51% contained as of Tuesday morning and more than 1,500 firefighters are battling the wildfire.

Strong winds are driving the fire Tuesday morning in an area east of Cedar Park and West of The Retreat, fire officials said. The winds, above drainages near Storm Mountain, are preventing helicopter drops in the area. Helicopters are being used in less windy areas Tuesday.

Winds are gusting to 30 mph at lower elevations, with 50 mph gusts are higher elevations, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

Smoke on Tuesday morning was visible from Fort Collins to Loveland, according to fire command.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued an air quality alert, because of smoke from the fires, through 4 p.m. Tuesday. Areas under the Action Day for Particulates alert are: Boulder, Douglas, Jefferson, Denver, western Arapahoe, western Adams, Broomfield, Larimer, and Weld counties. Sensitive people, including those with respiratory issues, should limit prolonged or heavy exertion. People should stay indoors if smoke is clouding their area.

Wildfire map

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