Colo. Wildfire Season Worst in a Decade
KREX News Room
DENVER- Colorado is experiencing its worst fire season in a decade. Half of the nation's firefighting fleet is currently in the state battling a number of blazes, including one that's the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history.
With the state midway through a fire season that appears to have no end in sight, some folks have watched their homes burn to the ground, others have been forced to evacuate, and others have been turned away from their favorite tourist spots.
The worst of the bunch is the High Park Fire in northern Colorado, which has now destroyed a reported 248 homes, nearly 50 of them in the Glacier Park subdivision. It's consumed more than 83,000 acres and is 45 percent contained. Nearly $30 million has been spent fighting this fire so far, and more than 2,000 personnel are on site.
The Waldo Canyon Fire burning just west of Colorado Springs has prompted thousands of evacuations, including 11,000 residents and an unknown number of tourists. A view of Pike's Peak is completely blocked by smoke and officials closed traffic into Manitou Springs, a popular vacation spot, as well as Garden of the Gods. At 3,400 acres, the fire is growing in three different directions, making it difficult for crews to fight. It's currently zero percent contained.
However, the Springer Fire, also burning near Colorado Springs, is now fully contained. It burned through more than 1,100 acres near Lake George, and at its height forced hundreds of evacuations. Officials believe recreational shooting sparked the fire.
The Stateline Fire, which started Saturday southeast of Durango, is now at an estimated 337 acres. Officials say conditions are difficult as crews battle the flames just south of Bondad Hill. One home has been destroyed.
In Montezuma County, the Weber Fire near Mancos has now burned 8,300 acres. The fire broke out Friday afternoon and remains at zero percent containment. Fire officials believed this was human caused; however, a full investigation is underway.
The Little Sand Fire near Pagosa Springs is now burning at 21,616 acres. The wildfire, which is over a month old, has dropped to 31 percent containment from 34 percent. The fire was sparked by lightning on May 13 and no structures have been affected. The cost of fighting this blaze is $5.2 million.
In addition, the Woodland Heights Fire destroyed structures near the mountain community of Estes Park. Many visitors stay there while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. Officials say that as of Sunday, 22 homes and two outbuildings had been burned. It's currently 100 percent contained.
The Treasure Fire is burning five miles northeast of Leadville on 320 acres. Fire officials believe this was human caused and it's currently 10 percent contained.