Loveland’s foothills fire has grown to between 1,000 and 2,000 acres and 16 Northern Colorado agencies are on scene trying to combat the flames. With 100 firefighters collaborating, the fire is still 0 percent contained.
Evacuation of the area was deemed mandatory as of 7 p.m.
“Unless weather changes for us, it could be more than 24 hours until we get it under control,” said Tim Smith, a battalion chief for Loveland Fire and Rescue.
According to a city of Loveland advisory, no injuries have been reported since the fire started around 10:30 this morning. The fire is centered between the Pinewood Reservoir and Flatiron Reservoir area.
The same advisory warns that firefighters, who come from six different area agencies, are unable to get close enough to estimate the damage. Several hundred homes are in the area jeopardized, Smith said.
Pinewood Reservoir and Saddlenotch homes are threatened and people within four-miles of Pinewood Reservoir are advised to evacuate.
Small and large animals in the area have been rescued and individuals in need of shelter for their large pets, like horses, can call Loveland Police Dispatch at 970-667-2151.
In an attempt to combat the fast-growing grass fire, agencies have employed eight heavy air tankers, one single-seat air tanker and four helicopters to spread fire retardant.
The Red Cross is working with Loveland Fire and Rescue to organize a shelter and Larimer County Humane Society is helping house evacuated pets.
Evacuated residents can seek shelter at The Church at Loveland, 3835 SW 14th St. and an overflow shelter will be opened at Loveland’s Walt Clark Middle School.
“I don’t think we’re going to reach capacity tonight,” said Cecilia Ramirez, a member of Church at Loveland who is volunteering to help those displaced. “Even if we do, there are people volunteering their homes where people can stay for free.”
Those interested in utilizing the church shelter can call at 970-667-1442
Assistant News Editor Kirsten Silveira can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.