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Colorado: High Park Fire close to full containment

Residents returning to neighborhoods in the fire area

High Park Fire map, June 29, 2012.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The High Park Fire in Larimer County could be fully contained as soon as Sunday, July 1, as crews patrol the interior of the fire to extinguish a few remaining hotspots. They’ll get help from a Cobra helicopter equipped with video and infrared sensing equipment to focus the mop-up efforts.

The remote sensing data will be used tactically to guide firefighters to remaining heat pockets around structures and within unburned islands in the interior of the burn area.

But even when the fire is fully contained, residents may still see occasional smoke in the area for a while longer. Officials emphasized that increased containment Friday was due to suppression efforts and not weather behavior on Friday.

“The fire was tested by winds today and held,” according the latest update at InciWeb.org.

As of Friday evening, the fire was reported as 93 percent contained, at 87,284 acres. The High Park Fire is the biggest fire of the season so far in Colorado and destroyed more than 250 homes. Total firefighting costs are estimated at about $36 million.

About half the fire burned on private and state lands, and half on national forest lands.

Evacuation orders have been lifted for Rist subdivision, where 200 residents have been able to return to their properties. Most residents of the Glacier View subdivision, north of the fire, will be able to return to their homes Saturday.

 

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