East Troublesome Fire Evacuation Map, Update As Huge Blaze Engulfs Homes in Grand Lake, Colorado

Evacuation orders are in effect in parts of Grand County, Colorado, following the East Troublesome fire, which is burning near Grimes Peak in the Arapaho National Forest.

Fire activity "increased significantly" on Wednesday night and the blaze is impacting the Highway 34 corridor and the Grand Lake area, according to the latest report from the Incident Information System of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG).

Houses were burning down, according to fire dispatches from firefighters on Wednesday night, with hundreds evacuated from the Grand Lake area.

The blaze, which was at around 19,000 acres on Wednesday morning, expanded to over 30,000 acres by 6 p.m. local time, Jay Winfield, the incident commander of the fire, revealed at a briefing Wednesday.

"The fire is growing faster than we can catch it right now," Winfield said at the briefing.

A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for "all areas north of milepost 2 on Highway 34 to the National Park, due to the growth and close proximity of the East Troublesome Fire," the Grand County Office of Emergency Management said Wednesday.

The west side of Rocky Mountain National Park is closed to visitors due to significant fire activity, while "Grand Lake area residents are following evacuation orders to evacuate south on U.S. [Route] 34 toward Granby," according to a post Thursday on the official Facebook page of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Grand County Office of Emergency Management confirmed on Twitter: "The Grand County Sheriff's Office has issued a MANDATORY EVACUATION for Area H immediately!!! Leave now.

"At this time all residents north of mile marker 3 on HWY 34 should EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY!!!!"

" HWY 34 is open southbound for two lanes of traffic and Trail Ridge Road is open for evacuation. HWY 40 opened both directions," the office tweeted.

#EastTroublesomeFire Cont (2/2):
- For the latest information on evacuations, closures, and other important information, follow @GrandCountyOEM, and @GrandCoSheriff. Maps are available at: https://t.co/skf5grFcpR

- We will continue to provide information as it becomes available pic.twitter.com/liTLN1H0Jw

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) October 22, 2020

Trail Ridge Road, which is currently open for evacuation eastbound and closed westbound at the Rainbow Curve area, was reported to have low visibility due to smoke on the road, according to a post on the Facebook page of Rocky Mountain National Park.

"Travelers should be aware of smoke, wind, weather and fire conditions as fire activity is rapidly changing and road closures may be put in place quickly," the post warned.

The NWCG said Wednesday: "Continued active fire behavior under windy and dry conditions" is projected over the next 72 hours, with high winds and dry fuels helping the fire spread. "Active burning conditions will occur throughout the day and night due to poor relative humidity recovery."

See the Grand County Emergency Management website for full details on the latest evacuation orders and updates on the ongoing fire.

There are five active large fires currently burning across Colorado, the largest of which is the Cameron Peak fire (205,005 acres, 51 percent contained) near the Red Feather Lakes area, according to the latest report by the National Interagency Fire Center.

The other major fires include Williams Fork (14,645 acres, 26 percent contained), Calwood (9,854 acres, 21 percent contained), Ice (508 acres, 18 percent contained) and Lefthand (459 acres, four percent contained).

Chatridge 2 fire Colorado June 2020
An image of Littleton, Colorado, where the Chatridge 2 fire burned 461 acres south of Denver back in June. Another blaze, the East Troublesome fire in Grand County, was reported to have burned down homes on Wednesday. Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images