Cameron Peak fire September

The Cameron Peak fire in northwestern Colorado burned into flatter terrain Monday, helping firefighters battle flames.

The Cameron Peak fire burning in the national forest west of Fort Collins continued to grow after surpassing 120,000 acres to become the third largest wildfire in state history, Forest Service officials said Sunday.

The wildfire added nearly 5,000 acres, growing from 119,166 to 124,021 acres by Sunday morning. The fire remains 25% contained, according to the national interagency fire management website.

Driven by gale-force winds that gusted up to 60 mph on Saturday, the fire jumped containment lines, leading to mandatory evacuation orders and more structures being damaged.

"The most active areas of the fire are the two fingers north of (Colorado) highway 14. ... Fire crews were able to protect the temple at Shambhala and continued use of sprinklers wetting down areas ahead of the fire," the incident command page said.

Crews are assessing damages along Colorado 14 between the fish hatchery and Rustic, officials said. More structures were damaged along Manhattan Road, but teams are currently unable to safely assess the area.

Previously officials had said 54 structures had been damaged, including 25 residential, two of which were primary residences.

Sunday brought cooler temperatures and decreasing winds— a welcome change from the hot, windy weather that created havoc for firefighters on Friday and Saturday. 

The fire started Aug. 13 in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest and is burning 25 miles east of Walden. Nearly 850 firefighters are working the blaze and the cause of the fire is still being investigated.

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