ESTES PARK, Colo. (WDTN) – A former Miami Valley man has evacuated his home in Colorado because of the growing wildfires there. The Larimer County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office issued mandatory evacuations for some residents, and volunteer evacuations for others, as wildfires continue to burn.
Jon Pickett, originally from Kettering, voluntarily evacuated his apartment in Estes Park on Thursday.
“I have a safe place to stay. I believe all my friends are safe also,” Pickett said.
Officials say more than 450,000 acres are actively burning, threatening homes and businesses. Pickett shared live videos on his Facebook page of red skies and a faint sun peeking through the smoky haze.
“This would be Lumpy Ridge, if you could see Lumpy Ridge,” he said, pointing to a smoke filled horizon.
Downtown Estes Park was like a ghost town as residents moved to evacuate. It looked like nighttime in the middle of the afternoon. Pickett said the early evacuation alerts and the text/call emergency contact system were essential in helping to keep residents safe as the East Troublesome Fire blew up, due to high wind.
That fire has now burned more than 125,000 acres, making it the fourth-largest fire in Colorado history.
Fire officials say they are hoping that forecasted rain and snow over the weekend will help them battle the flames.