Apr 032011
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

People forced from their homes by the Crystal Fire will be able to return to their homes tonight.

According to a press release from the Larimer County Sheriff, the evacuation order will be lifted tonight at 7:30 p.m., but roadblocks will be maintained through the night and residents will need proof that they live in the area in order to get in.

The fire, which is about 5 percent contained, is estimated to have expanded to about 4,500 acres today, when operations focused on mapping the fire and assessing damage.

Management of the fire is still under a local, type three team, but control is expected to be handed over to a type one team of state and national personnel tomorrow.

Initial damage assessments found that the fire torched 15 homes and a number of other cars, motor homes, trailers and trucks. Residents were briefed on the damage assessment at 6 p.m.

In the release, Public Information Officer John Schulz called the cool, snowy weather a “gift,” and said their appears to be no active fire threat for the next 24 hours because of the conditions. Winds are expected to return tomorrow and throughout the week, and although temperatures will be lower, weather is expected to be dry.

Residents should be prepared to evacuate again if conditions change, the release says.

Check back tomorrow for more updates.

 Posted by at 10:53 am

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