UPDATE: MONDAY 4/3/2023 6:40 a.m.
(PARK COUNTY, Colo.) — Park County officials said fire activity was minimal on Sunday, April 2, with the fire remaining at 1,450 acres and at 35% containment.
According to Park County, 22 structures remain threatened but evacuations were lifted. Firefighters stayed overnight with over 100 personnel committed to the fire.
FOX21’s Storm Team Chief Meteorologist Matt Meister said the weather is likely to cause the fire to become more active on Monday, April 3.
ORIGINAL STORY: 403 Fire grows to 1,450 acres, 25% containment
SUNDAY 4/2/2023 12:09 p.m.
A wildland fire that started in Park County, Colorado, has grown to 1,450 acres and is at 25 percent containment Sunday morning on April 2.
The mandatory evacuation status for residents in the one-mile area of County Road 403 and Alpine Meadow Lane has changed to a pre-evacuation status. Mandatory evacuation orders for the Wilson Lakes and Forest Glenn subdivisions will be lifted to a pre-evacuation status at 12 p.m.
All other pre-evacuation orders will remain in place. Residents will be allowed to return to their homes after 12 p.m. on Sunday. Officials say identification will be required to re-enter the evacuation area.
Those in pre-evacuation should remain prepared, said Park County. The community is asked to be mindful of ongoing activities in the area for the safety of first responders.
There has been no loss of life or structures reported as of Saturday afternoon, according to Park County. The public is encouraged to sign up for the Park County CodeRED emergency notification system.
Evacuation shelters were made available at the following locations:
Call the evacuation line at (719) 836-4200 for updates. If overnight sheltering is needed after hours (5 p.m. to 8 a.m.) contact David Kintz at (719) 836-5552.
- Lake George Community Center located at 39141 US Highway 24, Lake George, CO 80827.
- Those with large animals and livestock were asked to evacuate to the Lake George Fairgrounds located at 37371 Highway 24 in Lake George, CO 80827.
- Those with small cats and dogs were asked to evacuate to the Teller County Animal Shelter located at 308 Weaverville Rd, Divide.
- Call (719) 868-7707 for questions.
- Request evacuation assistance from Animal Control through Teller County Dispatch at (719) 687-9652.
- TCSO said large animals will be housed at PBJ Ranch or the Teller County Fairgrounds.
- Those with chickens, peafowl, or geese should contact the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs at (719) 473-1741.
- Woodland Park Community Church located at 800 Valley View Drive.
Donation drop-off locations:
- Park County: Lake George Fire Protection District located at 8951 Colorado Road 90, Lake George.
- Teller County: Teller County Sheriff’s Office in Divide located at 11400 US-24.
On Thursday, March 30, a wildfire was reported at approximately 10:52 a.m. by a nearby resident, according to Park County. The Teller County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) alerted the community of visible smoke behind the Florissant Fossil Beds.
Those living within a one-mile radius of County Road 403 and Alpine Meadow Lane in Park County were given a mandatory evacuation order due to the wildfire.
Mandatory Evacuations were ordered for the following areas:
- The area within a one-mile radius of County Road 403 and Alpine Meadow Lane.
- The area north to northeast of Homestake Place and County Road 403.
- The area near County Road 46 and Wilson Drive.
- Wilson Lakes and Forest Glenn subdivisions.
By 3:55 p.m., the wildfire burning between Lake George and Guffey had reached 30 acres with minor spread to the north and northeast, per Park County.
By 5:49 p.m., the wildland fire, now referred to as the 403IC Fire, was burning approximately half a mile from the Teller County line, according to Park County.
An additional evacuation center was made available in Woodland Park with the American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado responding with volunteers, supplies and medical services.
Later in the evening, Peak Alerts notified the community that power and gas would be cut off south of Highway 24 and west of Teller 1 to the county line at 8:20 p.m.
During a press conference Thursday evening, officials said the fire had burned into Teller County. Crews were evacuated due to dangerous winds and unpredictable shifts in wind strength and direction.
TCSO estimated the fire to be 1,047 acres by 8:40 p.m., Thursday night.
By Friday morning on March 31, the 403 Fire had grown to 1,100 acres by 11 a.m., per Park County.
All of County Road 403 and County Road 98 east of County Road 61 closed.
During a second press conference Friday morning, the Park County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) said it would allow those living in evacuated areas to briefly return to their homes to retrieve any necessary belongings and medications.
By 1:25 p.m., the 403 fire had grown to 1,205 acres. Air support was halted due to strong winds.
By 5:42 p.m., TCSO said it was aware that power was out for some areas of Teller County due to fallen trees. CORE Electric worked to restore power by 8 p.m.
On Saturday, April 1, officials reported the fire was 1,215 acres and at 25 percent containment at around 9 a.m. 123 personnel responded to the fire at this time, according to Park County.
Despite windy conditions, firefighters were able to keep the fire’s growth to a minimum overnight. Red Flag Warnings persisted throughout most of Southern Colorado.
The fire expanded to 1,286 acres, then 1,388 acres shortly after a Park County update at 6:30 p.m. The fire remained at 25 percent containment.
By Sunday, April 2, the fire remained at 1,388 acres and 25 percent containment overnight.
Check back with FOX21 News for more updates on the 403 Fire.