High Park firefighter

Divide Fire volunteer Dustin Forbis working on the High Park fire.

Progress continues to be made against the High Park fire in Teller County, with containment at 87% on Thursday and all road closures and evacuation orders lifted. An area of 1,572 acres has burned.

Firefighters are working on an area of the fire on rugged, mountainous terrain, according to Lathan Johnson, with the High Park fire operations team.

“We continue to work out there,” he said.

Rain and snow in the forecast for Friday and Saturday could help control the fire. Johnson said any kind of precipitation can reduce the heat of a blaze and help it go out.

Weather conditions, though, could also interfere with firefighting efforts. “Any time there is inclement weather, we can’t do what we normally do,” Johnson said.

Crews at the High Park fire will be scaling back and sending reinforcements to the Plumtaw fire near Pagosa Springs.

According to the National Weather Service, the Cripple Creek area is expecting rain and snow over the next couple of days, with 3 to 5 inches of snow accumulation overnight Friday and an additional 2 to 4 inches predicted for Saturday.

First, though, firefighters had to deal with a red flag warning in place until 9 p.m. Thursday due to low humidity and gusting winds, according to the Incident Information System.

The High Park fire began May 12 just west of Cripple Creek on High Park Road, which caused 120 residents from 42 homes in the area to be evacuated. Evacuation orders were lifted Wednesday.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

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