CSU researchers study Cameron Peak Fire effects, Mountain Campus now open

Contact for reporters:
Mary Guiden
(206) 854-3786

Researchers from Colorado State University have had a unique opportunity to study the burn scar from the Cameron Peak Fire, which was first reported on Aug. 13, 2020. The fire burned through an area of more than 208,00 acres in Larimer and Jackson counties and Rocky Mountain National Park, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

It was 100% contained as of Dec. 2, 2020, and called controlled on Jan. 12, 2021.

The impact from the Cameron Peak Fire can still be felt 12 months later at CSU and beyond. Our news team has published a special package of stories to look at the people, facilities and research affected by the fire:

  • CSU’s Mountain Campus re-opened as of July 1 after being closed since October 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mountain Campus facilities, research and classes are set to return to regular operation in the fall.
  • On the Mountain Campus, associate professor Lise Aubry has been studying ground squirrels, with an eye toward hibernating animals’ response to climate change.
  • CSU Air Force ROTC cadets helped a veteran and CSU alum rebuild his home.
  • The Glen Haven community benefited from the Firewise USA program, which is administered by the Colorado State Forest Service and aims to help communities develop wildfire protection plans.
  • Following the fire, researchers including Ellen Wohl were “desperate” to get to existing research sites in the Poudre Canyon. She first began research at Little Beaver Creek in 2013, studying logjams and how they span channels.
  • Stephanie Kampf lost most of her research equipment in the fire. A lone sensor in a stream survived behind the Arrowhead Lodge near Rustic, Colorado.  She is leading a team that is studying snowpack, streams and sediment in waterways in areas affected by the largest wildfire in Colorado history.
  • CSU Assistant Professor Camille Stevens-Rumann was a wildland firefighter before she became a researcher and instructor.
  • CSU scientists Yoichiro Kanno and Dan Preston are studying food webs at 10 sites and trout populations at 20 sites in streams.