Updated at 11:50 PM MDT
Quick response to latest Colorado fire made possible in part by resources close on hand from Fourmile Canyon Fire.
Another fire kicking up on Colorado's Northern Front Range has engulfed at least one home and grown to more than 600 acres on Sunday, taxing firefighting crews in the area already stretched thin from fighting the Fourmile Canyon Fire, burning in the foothills west of Boulder, about 25 miles to the south.
The fire, which is being called the Reservoir Road Fire, was first reported as a grass fire at 10:30 am on Sunday morning near Flatiron Reservoir west of Loveland, Colorado, about 10 miles from where I currently sit. (I first caught a glimpse of the full impact of the fire at about 2 p.m. as I rounded a corner near my house, pictured above).
From my vantage point to the north, a concerted aerial assault was clearly underway -- with planes coming from the south and helicopters grabbing water from nearby mountain reservoirs.
As it turns out, that concerted aerial effort was made possible in part by the availability of the air resources already fighting the Fourmile Canyon Fire to the south; but also because of the fire's location, wedged between Carter Lake and Flatiron Reservoir.
9News in Denver reports that all of the air resources from the Fourmile Canyon Fire in Boulder (eight heavy air tankers, a single-engine air tanker and four helicopter tankers) are being used to fight the fire.
Although the latest fire is putting pressure on the state's firefighting resources, officials don't seem concerned that it is taking away from their ability to effectively control the Fourmile Canyon Fire near Boulder.
A spokesman for Governor Bill Ritter's office said they are watching the fire and will help lend financial support if asked to.
According to reports, there are about 600 homes in the subdivision behind a ridge that the fire climbed over on Saturday afternoon.
A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for a four-mile radius spreading north to Highway 34 and the Big Thompson Canyon.
The forest in the area is mostly mixed pinion and juniper pine with scattered sections of lodgepole pine at higher elevations. Lodgepoles have been hit hard by mountain pine beetles in Colorado, but according to preliminary findings from NASA and University of Wisconsin researchers, beetle-killed lodgepole pines are not more susceptible to forest fire than healthy, green ones.
As of 8 p.m. local time on Sunday, officials are reporting zero percent containment of the Reservoir Road Fire and also that winds have subsided and the flames appear to be 'laying down' for the night.
The weather forecast for Monday: sunny, dry and breezy with highs in the mid to upper 80s.