Officials closed the popular hiking area until at least August 19.
As of Wednesday, the fast-moving Grizzly Creek fire has grown to 3,700 acres and is threatening Hanging Lake, one of Colorado's most popular recreational areas. The fire is burning about two miles from the trail and is 0% contained. As a precaution, officials closed the Hanging Lake Trail.
Thirty mile-per-hour wind gusts and dry, hot temperatures Wednesday are not helping firefighters, either. Officials expect the fire to be extremely active and fast-moving with unpredictable direction changes. According to the incident website, there are more than 200 personnel on the scene with more on the way, including several air tankers and helicopters.
Grizzly Creek's location has separate drainage from Dead Horse Creek (Hanging Lake's location) and has firefighters hopeful the beloved attraction will stay safe.
This map outlines where the Grizzly Creek fire currently burns as of August 12, 2020 (Courtesy Grizzly Creek Fire on Facebook)
In addition to the Hanging Lake closure, Interstate 70 from Glenwood Springs to Gypsum is also closed. Independence Pass shut down due to stalled semi-trucks attempting to detour around the closures. According to the incident website, officials don't have an estimated time of reopening.
This one-of-a-kind gem, Hanging Lake, is under threat from the #GrizzlyCreekFire that’s raging near Glenwood Springs, #Colorado. Prayrs from Oregon for the firefighters and that this natural beauty can be preserved. #wildfire #waterfalls #landscapephotography #outdoors pic.twitter.com/SWrFMoztZ4— Jon Mitchell (@byJonMitchell) August 12, 2020
Residents in areas east of Glenwood Springs have been evacuated, including those living in No Name, Lookout Mountain, High Aspen Ranch, and Coulter Creek. Evacuees can go to the Glenwood Springs Community Center for shelter.
Those with Hanging Lake permits through Friday will be automatically refunded. Visitors can make a new reservation for a future available date.
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