The Cameron Peak Fire, burning just west of Fort Collins, is now the largest wildfire in Colorado history, Gov. Jared Polis said in a tweet Wednesday night.
The blaze has burned through more than 164,000 acres and is 56% contained, officials said Thursday afternoon. It was ignited on August 13 and has since been fueled by high winds and dangerous terrain that’s worked against firefighters’ efforts to battle the flames and increase containment.
It has now surpassed the Pine Gulch Fire, which burned about 139,007 acres earlier this year and the Hayman Fire, which burned through more than 138,000 acres in 2002, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
The Cameron Peak Fire prompted several evacuation orders Wednesday. In a statement posted on Facebook, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office announced there was a mandatory evacuation order for Lory State Park.
“Residents and business occupants should evacuate the area immediately and as quickly as possible due to immediate and imminent danger,” the office said.
“Do not delay leaving to gather belongings or make efforts to protect your home or business. Evacuating immediately not only supports your safety, but also allows emergency crews better access to the area.”
An American Red Cross spokesperson said in a statement volunteers were working to find shelter for evacuees, according to CNN affiliate KUSA.
“The Red Cross is still sheltering individuals that were displaced by the fire before today and with the new evacuation orders we are working hard to make sure everyone who needs a roof over their head will have shelter tonight,” the spokesperson said, according to the affiliate.
Officials say they expect the fire to be contained by November 8. Its cause remains under investigation.