The fire made another big run east Wednesday and was listed at 158,300 acres as of 7:30 p.m. MDT Wednesday. Containment was at 56%.
It has now surpassed another 2020 fire — the Pine Gulch Fire — for the largest in the state’s history. The Pine Gulch Fire near Grand Junction reached 139,007 acres before it was fully contained in late September.
The Cameron Peak Fire has grown more than 20,000 acres over the last day. It started on Aug. 13 on the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests near Cameron Pass and Chambers Lake.
The latest evacuations in the path of the Cameron Peak Fire affected mainly recreational properties — including hundreds of mountain cabins — in and around the communities of Glen Haven and Drake east of Rocky Mountain National Park.
The fire continued spreading into remote northern Rocky Mountain National Park and was bearing down on the Colorado State University Mountain Campus a few miles north of the park.
“We’re preparing to do whatever is necessary in those areas,” fire operations trainee Tim Daly said in a briefing about the efforts to protect the campus and communities.
The Cameron Peak Fire has damaged or destroyed 95 buildings, including 33 homes.
The Hayman Fire of 2002 had been the state’s largest wildfire until the Pine Gulch Fire. That blaze, which remains one of the most severe wildfires with respect to burning intensity, according to the U.S. Forest Service, blackened 137,760 acres and destroyed 600 structures near Colorado Springs.
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Contributing: Jessica Flores, USA TODAY; The Associated Press.