Larimer County officials say a plane crash last night involving a tanker engaged in the fight against the Kruger Rock Fire has claimed the life of a pilot.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Office posted the following information on the Kruger Rock Fire Update website:

''On November 16, 2021, at approximately 6:37 p.m., we received reports of a single engine air tanker crash south of Estes Park.  Resources were immediately deployed to search the area.  At approximately 9:49 p.m., the plane crash site was located near the south end of Hermit Park.  We are sad to report that the pilot and only occupant of the aircraft did not survive.  The investigation into the crash will be led by the FAA and NTSB.''

The fire had grown to 133 acres as of last night, according to the website

As of 6:20 p.m., the fire was estimated at 133 acres with 15% containment.  Fire crews will remain on the fire monitoring overnight and operations will continue tomorrow morning.  The LCSO Joint Information Center (970-980-2500) closed at 6:30 p.m. tonight and will be open again at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Over 150 personnel were on the fire today from LCSO Emergency Services, LCSO Initial Attack Module, Larimer County Parks, Colorado State Patrol, Estes Valley Fire Protection District, Estes Park PD, Town of Estes Park, Glenhaven Fire, LCSO Posse, LCSO All-Hazards/Crisis Response Team, Poudre Fire Authority, Loveland Fire Rescue Authority, Berthoud Fire Protection District, Boulder County, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Allenspark Fire, United States Forest Service, Rocky Mountain National Park, and CDOT. 

Meanwhile, a mandatory evacuation has been ordered for one area, according to the sheriff's office:

Fire officials have issued mandatory evacuations for the Pole Hill Road to Panorama Peak area on the east side of Highway 36 for residents and business occupants in the area due to immediate and imminent danger. Evacuate the area immediately and as quickly as possible. Do not delay leaving to gather belongings or make efforts to protect your home or business. Evacuating immediately not only supports your safety, but also allows emergency crews better access to the area.

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