Galena Fire 85 percent contained, all evacuation notices canceled
Galena Fire west of Ft. Collins, Colo. March 15, 2013
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Three days after ballooning to over 1,000 acres, officials are calling the Galena Fire 85 percent contained. But wind concerns tempered some of the enthusiasm as firefighters began mop-up duty Monday.
“Winds will still be a big factor today, and will cause increased smoke in the interior of the fire,” Larimer County Sheriff spokesperson John Schulz said. “Pre-evacuation notices remain in effect today due to those concerns.”
The hard work of firefighters paid off and the fire did not grow Monday. Winds calmed Monday evening and all pre-evacuation notices were lifted.
Schulz estimated the fire has now spread to 1,348 acres.
The investigation into the cause of the fire is close to being complete, Schulz said. While investigators have determined the fire was human-caused, Schulz said it was not caused by a campfire or a controlled burn.
The blaze erupted Friday near the Lory State Park on the northwest side of Horsetooth Reservoir, and was fueled by high winds. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued Friday afternoon when it was apparent the fire was threatening more than 50 homes. Additional evacuation notices were issued for residents south of the fire.
Those evacuations were lifted Saturday night, but all of those residents were still on pre-evacuation notice until Monday night when those orders were canceled as well.