Granby, Grand Lake evacuated for East Troublesome Fire
Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said he didn’t know what the county would wake up to this morning while shooting a 1 a.m. video from the entrance to Grand Lake.
“It was a challenging day,” the sheriff said as he talked about how quickly the East Troublesome Fire spread overnight and praised emergency crews and the community for their efforts.
Radio traffic, Facebook posts and reports from the evacuation center have confirmed homes were destroyed in the fire, though it is not clear how many.
“Daylight is going to tell us a lot,” the sheriff said.
US 40 and US 34 remain closed near Granby with US 34 closed between US 40 and Grand Lake. This safety closure is for both directions of traffic. US 40 continues to be closed in both directions between Hot Sulfur Springs and US 34.
The Grand County Office of Emergency Management confirmed that the fire is threatening the Grand Lake area. Crews are working to contain the fire to the west side of US Highway 34.
Officials will not be updating the acre and fire perimeter until Thursday when a morning flight is possible. Homes have been lost in the fire, though it is not clear how many.
A resource center for evacuees has been established at the Inn at Silver Creek at Granby Ranch. Many of the cars evacuating the area passed the lefthand turn into Granby Ranch on Wednesday night, though a large number of people did seek help there.
The meeting point is at the convention center, all the way at the back of the inn, accessed by following the parking lot all the way around the building.
Outside the center, there are poster signs fixed to the door letting people know where they can seek help. Inside the center, a team of people was focused on delivering in-person assistance for those in need.
“There are people and resources here to help our community,” said Deb Ruttenberg, director of Human Services for Grand County. “We are helping people who may or may not have the ability to fill out the online evacuation form.”
If people don’t have a place to stay, she added, the team can help evacuees find lodging through the Red Cross, which will cover the cost of the accommodations.
“Some people have resources, other people don’t and we’d really like to preserve the Red Cross sheltering resources for people who really have no other options,” Rubberberg said. “That’s what’s happening here.”
People at the center estimated they had seen about 50 evacuees by 10 p.m. Wednesday night. There were likely more aided by the effort, as many groups had one go inside while other people waited in the full parking lot.
Some people struggled to find the meeting point inside the convention center, not realizing they needed to follow the parking lot around the inn all the way to the back.
Ruttenberg said the team of helpers would be at the inn as long as needed Wednesday night and again on Thursday.
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