UPDATE at 12:54 p.m. MDT, May 17, 2012
The Larimer County Sheriff’s office reported at 12:50 p.m. that Highway 14 has been closed from Ted’s PLace to Stove Prairie Road. Residents may use the road to leave.
At approximately 11 a.m. today the Larimer County Sheriff ordered evacuations in front of the Hewlett fire which has grown substantially over the last 24 hours (see map of the Hewlett fire above). The fire is burning 10 miles northwest of Fort Collins on the north side of Highway 14. On Wednesday the size was reported to be 982 acres, but an infrared imagery flight by US Forest Service aircraft N144Z at 10 p.m. Wednesday night mapped it at 5,090 acres.
Here is the information about the evacuation provided Thursday morning by the Incident Management Team:
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has issued a mandatory evacuation order in the area of Bonner Springs Ranch Road, Deer Valley Road, Obenchain Road and Ingleside Road. All residents are asked to evacuate immediately. Evacuation Center is being established at Cache La Poudre Middle School, 3515 West County Road 54G in La Porte, Colo. If you have large animals, you may take them to The Ranch off of I-25.
The reload base for the air tanker(s) working the fire is Jeffco (Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport) 55 miles south of the fire. On Wednesday there was one air tanker working on the fire, and there is an unconfirmed report that only one is working the fire again today.
The weather forecast for the fire area Thursday afternoon is for northwest winds shifting to southwest at 10 mph, temperature of 83, and relative humidity in the high teens. On Friday the winds will increase substantially at 15 mph hour gusting to 24 out of the south, then southwest.