Estes Park wildfire grows to over 130 acres, evacuation zones expanded

Drivers are being asked to avoid Highway 36 and Highway 34 to Estes Park

ESTES PARK, Colo. - A growing wildfire just outside Estes Park, Colorado, has prompted emergency officials in the area to issue mandatory and voluntary evacuations.

The Kruger Rock Fire began in Little Valley, which is about 3 miles to the south of downtown Estes Park, and buned more than 133 acres by Tuesday evening. 

Estes Park is a popular spot for visitors who travel to see elk and visit the Rocky Mountain National Park. The area is about 80 miles from Denver. 

The cause of the fire is unknown at this point and is around 15 percent contained. About 150 personnel are currently working the fire with more on the way.

A mandatory evacuation was issued for residents and businesses in Little Valley and Hermit Park, while crews expand the zones for voluntary evacuations. Power has been shut off in Little Valley.

LIVE: Evacuations underway for Colorado wildfire outside Estes Park

Shelters are open for evacuees including some that take large and small animals. The following shelters are open and do not need reservations: 

  • LifeBridge Church 10345 Ute Hwy, Longmont
  • Estes Park Event Center 1125 Rooftop Way
  • Small Animals may be evacuated to the Larimer Humane Society, 3501 E. 71st Street, Loveland.
  • Large animals can be taken to The Ranch, 5280 Arena Circle, Loveland.
  • Overnight sheltering is available at the YMCA at 2515 Tunnel Road, Estes. Small pets are also welcome.

Drivers are also being asked to avoid Highway 36 and Highway 34 to Estes Park because of the fire. Anyone driving in the area should seek an alternate route.

Winds gusted higher than 40 mph on Tuesday, which made firefighting efforts difficult. Meteorologists say a cold front will provide some brief relief on Wednesday, with increased moisture and lower wind speeds.