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Mandatory evacuations and pre-evacuations in Park and Teller counties for 403 Fire

PARK COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- Evacuations have been ordered in Park County due to a wildland fire burning along County Rd. 403. As of 8:45 p.m., the fire has burned over 1,000 acres and growing.

According to the Public Emergency Notification System, residents within one mile of County Rd. 403 and Alpine Meadow Ln. are told to evacuate now. This was issued at 11:39 a.m. Thursday.

Alpine Meadows Lane is a road in Pike Forest Estate and intersects CR 403 between Forest Lane and Homestake Place.

At 3 p.m., officials said a mandatory evacuation was ordered for the impacted area of North to Northeast of Homestake Place and County Road 403.

Map of 403 fire as of 5:30 p.m.

At 4:32 p.m., the Teller County Sheriff's Office said there is a mandatory evacuation order for County Road 46 to Wilson Dr. due to the wildfire. The closest intersection is County Road 46 and Blue Mountain Drive.

Just after 5 p.m., the Teller County Sheriff's Office said there is also a mandatory evacuation order for the Wilson Lakes and Forest Glenn Subdivisions due to the fire.

Pre-evacuation orders have also been ordered for areas in Teller County. These areas are La Montana Mesa and Las Brisas.

At approximately 8 p.m., a pre-evacuation warning was issued for Valley Hi and Florissant Heights subdivisions.

The Teller County Sheriff's Office also said that at 8:20 p.m., power and gas will be cut off to the south of Highway 24 and west of Teller County Rd. 1, to the county line. The sheriff's office said this should mostly impact the Wilson Lake and Forest Glenn subdivisions.

At approximately 8:40 p.m., the sheriff's office reported the size of the fire at 1,047 acres.

These evacuations are mandatory and entry to the area might be denied. The emergency notification said structures are threatened by the grass fire.

The alert states residents are encouraged to evacuate as soon as possible. People might have time to gather necessary items, but "do so at your own risk."

Evacuation Shelters and Locations:

  • People: Lake George Community Center, located at 39141 US 24, Lake George, CO 80827. 
  • Large animals and livestock: Lake George Fairgrounds located at 37371 Highway 24 in Lake George, C 80827.
  • Small cats and dogs: Teller County Animal Shelter, 308 Weaverville Rd, Divide. Please call 719-686-7707 with questions

For Teller County evacuees:

  • Woodland Park Community Church at 800 Valley View Drive in Woodland Park has been set as the evacuation shelter

The Park County Emergency Management said updates will be provided as soon as possible, please call the evacuation line at 719-836-4200 for updates.   

At 3 p.m., Park County officials said the fire reached 30 acres and was burning between Lake George and Guffey.

Officials said the fire was first reported at 10:52 a.m. by a nearby resident.

The Teller County Sheriff's Office said smoke is visible in the western area of the county due to the active fire burning behind the Florissant Fossil beds. People are asked to only call 911 in Teller County if they see active flames or a plume of smoke.

Thursday night, Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell and Commissioners Dan Williams and Robert "Bob" Campbell briefed concerned citizens on what they are working through with containing the flames.

"We would love to have had the bigger aircraft come in and drop slurry on it, but they can't even fly. So right now we're dealing with hand crews and brush trucks and just good firemen," Sheriff Mikesell said.

The fire, which originated in Park County, has crossed the Teller County line. Now, the structures and people threatened are mainly within the Teller boundaries.

"The thing about forest fires, they don't care. So the biggest issue right now is it's in Teller County, it's in Park County. I think the structures that are most probably threatened are probably in Teller County because really that's a very rural area until you move in to Florissant. We have a large group of homes right together," Mikesell said.

Officials say they learned a lot about preparing for wild fires in Teller County after the High Park fire burned over 1,000 acres last May. They say that entire process was a learning process, which made them better in multiple facets.

"We learned a lot of lessons from that fire, which was successful. We've got new equipment. We've got better radios, we've got great coordination and TTP, and they're working," Williams said.

The cause of the grass fire is still under investigation.

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