Officials confirm destruction of 17 homes in Poudre Canyon area; Larimer County opening disaster recovery center
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Firefighters continued to make progress in containing some parts of the High Park Fire in Larimer County, Colorado, but the fire grew in other areas. Up-to-date maps and daily progression maps are online at Larimer.org/HighParkFire.
Larimer County is opening a one-stop disaster recovery center, where victims of the fire will be able to receive services and get information on County, State, and CSU services. The center opens Friday (June 15) at 7 a.m. 7:00 a.m. at Johnson Hall on the Colorado State University campus in Fort Collins.
Thursday, strong winds associated with a thunderstorm once again pushed the fire to the north side of Poudre Canyon, requiring a slew of new precautionary evacuations in the Glacier Park area, even as some other residents were able to return home.
The fire grew by about 2,000 acres Thursday, the smallest growth rate for the lightning-caused fire, burning since June 9. Total firefighting costs are now estimated at about $7.2 million.
To date, 31 homeowners from the Stratton Park, Pine Acres and parts of Poudre Canyon have been officially notified that their homes have been destroyed.
At a Thursday afternoon briefing fire officials confirmed that an additional 17 homes were destroyed in the Poudre Canyon area, from Stove Prairie to the mouth of the canyon. The total number of destroyed homes and structures has been estimated as high as 118, but officials still haven’t finished compiling a totally accurate count.
Officials also said that reports of looting in the area are unsubstantiated and that there is a strong law enforcement presence in the area, including National Guard troops.
As of Thursday evening, the size of the fire was reported at 52,000 acres and officials said they have been able to contain about 15 percent of the perimeter. The most challenging area is still the western edge of the fire, moving into areas where up to 70 percent of the trees have been killed by beetles.
In recently killed areas, the dead, red needles on the trees and ground make for highly flammable conditions, susceptible to running crown fires and long-distance spotting when the wind picks up. Brief rain showers in the area moderated fire behavior for a short time.
More than 1,300 firefighters have been assigned to the fire, enabling a quick response to new spot fires while still maintaining existing fire lines.
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Environment, forest fires Tagged: | Colorado wildfires, High Park Fire, High Park fire map, High Park Fire photos, Larimer County Colorado, Poudre Canyon