Veronica Galindo is waiting on a phone call.
Since the beginning of the Picnic Rock fire Tuesday afternoon,
Galindo and other Poudre Canyon residents have been keeping an eye
on the fire’s expansion. Galindo, who lives seven miles up the
Poudre Canyon, said many neighbors have already moved instead of
waiting for an order from the fire department.
“We’ve already got our animals out and brought everything down
with us,” Galindo said. ” We’re hoping we can go back.”
As of Thursday evening, the fire had reached 3,500 acres and
caused 128 homeowners to be notified of their need to evacuate,
said Eloise Campanella, press information officer for the Larimer
County Sheriff’s Office. Housing areas that have been evacuated
include the Bonner Peak Ranch subdivision and the Cherokee Hills
The fire had already claimed one home and a storage garage on
Obenchain Road as of about 9 p.m. Thursday.
Campanella said the recent exceptionally dry, warm and windy
weather has made the fire even more difficult to fight and caused
it to nearly double in size Wednesday night.
“The weather is not cooperating,” Campanella said. “But the
humidity will be going up (Thursday night) and that is something we
haven’t had in a while.”
Air support is working alongside firefighters to help fight the
Picnic Rock fire.
Bill Nelson, the sheriff’s office operations manager, said there
are four crews – a total of 227 firefighters – working to stall the
blaze. Along with firefighters battling the fire from the ground,
there are two heavy tankers, one twin-engine plane, two type-II
choppers and one type-I chopper fighting the blaze from the air, he
“This is a very intense situation and we are concerned,”
There is no estimate of containment on the fire, she said.
The fire stretches from Highway 14 south to County Road 74 E,
and from Highway 287 west to the north fork of the Poudre River,
Nelson said. He anticipated a wind shift tonight to bring as much
as 1 inch of moisture to the area, but he added that he could not
“We’re kind of at (the fire’s) mercy,” Nelson said.
Larry Peterson, chief for Livermore Fire Protection, had been on
the scene much of the day Thursday. Nine Livermore firefighters are
on the scene, but Peterson said some parts of the fire are too
dangerous for firefighters to reach.
“We don’t have anybody at the head of the fire; it’s just too
dangerous,” Peterson said.
When asked what the community could do to help support the team
fighting the fire, Peterson shook his head while looking for an
“I can’t think of anything that the public can do right now.
Everything’s pretty much taken care of,” Peterson said. “They could
pray; that would be the best thing anyone could do.”
While hoping for weather changes and wishing the firefighters
well, Galindo, like many of her neighbors, is forced just to
“My father is in Arizona right now,” Galindo said. “He’s just
wondering if he’ll have a home to come back to.”