US 34 in Big Thompson Canyon closed to allow for evacuations of residents due to Cameron Peak fire escalation

Travel Advisory

October 16, 2020 - Northeastern Colorado

LARIMER COUNTY — US Highway 34 in the Big Thompson Canyon is closed to through-traffic from Mall Road in Estes Park (Mile Point 65) to east of the Dam Store (MP85) to allow for the evacuations of residents in the canyon due to the escalation of the Cameron Peak fire and for fire crews to access the area. 

Local access will be allowed, but anyone needing to get to Estes Park should use US 36 from I-25. 

US 34 Closure Map

Evacuations are in place for Lory State Park, Glen Haven, Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, Masonville, Horsetooth Mountain Park/Overhill Dr/Milner Mountain, County Road 52E (Rist Canyon Road) from County Road 27 east to County Road 27E (all of Rist Canyon including Stratton Park). Further evacuations have been ordered for US 34 from Drake to just west of the Dam Store and Redstone Canyon. 

“We ask that anyone who does not need to be on or around this area, stay away,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “There are a lot of people who need to get out of this area safely as this fire has escalated very quickly. Our main priority right now is on the safety of the residents, businesses and the crews and other first responders bravely battling this fire.”

Currently, the fire is not threatening the US 34 area, but the closure is needed to allow resident to evacuate safely. Winds and other dry conditions similar to ones seen on Wednesday are predicted for later today and into Saturday. Those winds on Wednesday escalated the fire to now more than 169,000 acres and the largest wildfire in Colorado history. 

For updates, text the word LCEVAC to 888777 from your cell phone. To view maps of the evacuations, please visit For fire information, go to:


The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.

  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.

  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.

  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.

  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.

  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.

  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.

  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.

  • Be patient!


Safe transportation infrastructure is essential for emergency first responders and freight drivers as Colorado navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, road maintenance and construction continues on CDOT projects with social distancing and other health safety measures to reduce COVID-19 exposure on the worksite. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced guidelines for construction activities. The public is urged to join the campaign for #DoingMyPartCO by practicing social distancing, wearing face masks, staying at home when possible, and avoiding nonessential travel. With fewer vehicles on the roads, CDOT crews will be able to work more efficiently and safely.  


Last year, CDOT announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This

initiative takes a systematic statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that

address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization’s operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.


CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000

lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other

agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also

administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Gov. Polis has charged

CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.