A wildfire burning on the south side of Estes Park on Tuesday morning has forced mandatory evacuations in the area.

The Kruger Rock fire quickly grew from five to 20 acres, according to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office. It was first reported before 7 a.m. near Little Valley Road and Fish Creek Road.

The Estes Park Emergency Communications Center says everyone in the area of Little Valley and Hermit Park needs to evacuate the area immediately and as quickly as possible.

Both residents and business occupants of the area are to get out now. Officials say that those in the area should not gather belongings or protect their home or business; just evacuate.

In addition to prior voluntary evacuations in the uplands area of Fish Creek Road, officials have also put those in the Meadowdale area under voluntary evacuations.

The Estes Park Event Center at 1125 Rooftop Way will serve as a shelter.

A red flag warning will go into effect for a significant portion of the Front Range at 10 a.m., lasting until 5 p.m. The area where the fire is burning is not covered by that warning. The National Weather Service in Boulder says winds in the area of Kruger Mountain are gusting 25 mph to 30 mph with humidity of 25% to 30%. NWS forecast winds to strengthen in the afternoon.

Colorado State Patrol asks drivers to avoid U.S. 36 and U.S. 34 into Estes Park.

In 2020, the state’s largest wildfire on record reached the outskirts of Estes Park.

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