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All of Estes Park ordered to evacuate

View of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo., this morning (Photo: Sally Gaddis)

Colorado Governor Jared Polis has just announced that Estes Park residents are being asked to evacuate because of all the fires in the area. Not to mention the lousy air quality.

The photo above just came in from my sister, via a friend of hers who lives in Longmont, Colo.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has issued this statement:

“This is the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office with upgraded evacuation information. The East Troublesome Fire officials have ordered Mandatory evacuations for the western part of Rocky Mountain National Park and much of the west side of the Estes Park area. This area includes the Rocky Mountain National Park west entrance, Moraine Park, Estes Park Campground, the southern part of Highway 7 north to Marys Lake, Peak View Drive including the Aerial Tramway and north to include Deer Ridge. Mandatory Evacuation have been ordered for residents and business occupants in the area due to immediate and imminent danger. Evacuate the area immediately and as quickly as possible. Do not delay leaving to gather belongings or make efforts to protect your home or business. Evacuating immediately not only supports your safety, but also allows emergency crews better access to the area. For questions about the evacuations, please call the Joint Information Center at 970-980-2500. For text updates, text the word TFIRE to 888777 from your cell phone. We will communicate information to that key word as needed. To view a map of the evacuation areas, please visit nocoalert.org. Please do not call 9-1-1 unless you are in danger. Thank you.

Estes Park evacuation begins (Photo: Estes Park News)
Screenshot from streaming Estes webcam shows traffic backed up on West Elkhorn Ave. Cars in this picture waited half an hour or more to get through this intersection before some of them began making U-turns to try another route. Heavy demand is making the camera unavailable at times.

Detail of Estes evacuation map, from NOCOAlert.org

At 3:20 pm, I’ve just heard that the rest of Estes Park (the yellow section around Highway 7 in the map above) has been added to the mandatory evacuation. Traffic is bumper-to-bumper on Highways 34 and 36 heading east out of Estes.

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"Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power." ~ Voltaire

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