The Rocky Mountain National Park closed Thursday, and mandatory evacuations were issued for parts of Estes Park, as firefighters continue battling the East Troublesome Fire.
The blaze started on October 14 but grew over 100,000 acres Wednesday night. The growth of the fire equates to roughly 70 football fields of forest burned every minute, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.
As of Thursday, the East Troublesome Fire had burned 125,602 acres and was only 5% contained, fire and forest officials said.
There is only about 10 to 15 miles between the two wildfires, said Stan Hilkey, the state's public safety executive director.
"We are doing everything we can to save lives and save homes," Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a news conference on Thursday.
And even though nearly 300 responders are on the front lines battling the fire, weather conditions throughout Thursday will be ideal for wildfire development. High winds that have already been fanning the flames will pick up, dry conditions will continue and temperatures will be warmer than normal.
"The longer the day progresses, the worse the conditions will get," said CNN meteorologist Michael Guy. A cold front approaching the area Thursday evening will offer little relief, Guy said, and instead will be followed by wind gusts of up to 50 mph.
Fire officials are betting on snow to get a hold of the blaze. After wind and low humidity conditions, periods of light snow over the next days could provide some relief, said Greg Hanson, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Boulder.
After strong winds on Saturday, a few inches of snow could fall Sunday into Monday in the foothills, and upwards of a foot of snow is expected in the high mountain valleys, Hanson said.
Other Colorado fires still burning
The 61 wildfires burning across the country have scorched nearly 4 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. At least 17 of those fires are burning in California, 10 in Idaho and five in Colorado. Other states that have large active blazes include Arizona, Montana, Oregon, Washington state and Wyoming.