The Teller County Sheriff’s Office said the High Chateau Fire is now at 15 percent containment Monday night.
The 1,328 acre fire forced roughly 571 homes and 1,700 people remain evacuated at this time. Another 1800 residents are on pre-evacuation notice. Crews also said they evacuated 193 small animals and 349 large animals so far.
Sheriff Mikesell was up front by saying they know homes were lost. However, they are waiting to notify anyone of their losses until crews on the ground can get a good idea of what burned. It is difficult to tell whether a building was a home, a barn or otherwise. His office will let people know in personal meetings when more information becomes available.
"We have lost homes, right now, we have teams in to try to identify those homes, but here’s the problem when you have this type of fire in losing structures of any kind, we don’t know which ones are homes, which ones are homes and what the addresses may be because there’s no markers left," Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell said.
People evacuated from their homes in Teller County gathered in Florissant on Monday afternoon to learn more about the size of the fire, status of their homes, and when they can expect to go home.
(Above: LIVE community meeting in Teller County on High Chateau Fire. Start time 1:00 p.m)
Many evacuees came to Monday afternoon’s meeting hoping to find out if they had a home to return to.
"They said they’re still walking the property, checking structures and we haven’t heard yet. According to the map, the fire’s pretty close to our cabin, but we don’t know yet the status of the cabin yet so we’re waiting to hear," Amy Reep, an evacuee said.
Most were in positive spirits, knowing they got their family and animals out safely.
"It’s a great opportunity to learn how to detach from your stuff, because if it disappears, then we can deal with that but it’s nicer to be with friends that are supportive than it is to be just sitting there in the house and getting more and more nervous everyday," Patty Glatfelter, a homeowner on pre-evacuation notice said.
— Teller Co Sheriff (@SheriffTeller) July 2, 2018
Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell says he understands that people want to go home, but it’s just not safe.
"If I allow people to go back into those areas, it puts my officers and fire teams at risk because once the fire starts moving in that direction, I don’t have time to get you back out."
Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team is in command of the fire, after taking over command on Sunday. Firefighters will work to keep the fire from moving south and west of Teller County Road 111 to help reduce the impact to any structures.
At a community meeting held Sunday at 10 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office said the fire has NOT reached anything in Park County, nor are the Fossil Beds in the path of the fire. Colorado Springs firefighters are in the area assisting local crews with two Type 6 engines and a battalion chief.
Mandatory evacuations are in effect for the following areas:
- B Lazy M Ranch, Deer Mt. Road and Ranch Resorts north of Evergreen Station.
- Park Ridge, Doe Valley, Pike Meadow, Four Mile Ranch, Olson Slater Creek and Ponderosa subdivisions between 8826 County Road 100 and County Road 102 between Country Road 71 and the Teller County Line.
- Slater Creek Road, Eagle Crest Ranch at Slater Creek, Sunrise Ridge, Chateau West, Highland Meadows, Dome Rock Ranch, Living Forest Estates, High Chateau Ranch, Lookout Point Road.
- Cripple Creek High School. The Red Cross is on scene ready to assist evacuees. Livestock can be taken to the Cripple Creek Fairgrounds.
- Woodland Park High School. Lake George Arena is open for livestock.
Officials say over 500 large animals have been evacuated so far.
- Teller County Road 1 was closed early Sunday morning from North Deer Mountain Road to Evergreen Station. It will remain closed until further notice.
- Teller County Road 12 is closed.
- Fremont/Teller County Road 11, also known as High Park Road is open to residents only. Teller County Road 111 remains closed.
According to a spokesman, the fire started on around 1 p.m. Friday on 2 acres of forested land before it moved into the High Chateau subdivision.
Fire crews remind all citizens to use extreme caution and obey all burn restrictions, especially over the next few days. This is video of the blaze Friday night from Mountain Communities Volunteer Fire Department.