Colorado Wildfire Burns Through 181 Homes, 85 Square Miles

The High Park wildfire in Colorado is officially the state’s most destructive, with a new total of 181 homes destroyed and 85 square miles scorched black on Saturday.

The High Park Fire, which is burning about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, has officially surpassed the Fourmile Canyon Fire, which destroyed 169 homes in September 2010 west of Boulder, according to MSNBC.

The Denver Post notes that Saturday morning’s fire briefing put the fire at over 54,232 acres burned, which makes it the third-largest in Colorado’s history. The only two fires that surpass it were both started in 2002 and were the Hayman fire at 137,760 acres and the Missionary Ridge fire at 71,739 acres.

According to Yahoo News, fire information officer Brett Haberstick stated that more than 1,500 personnel are working to contain the Fort Collins fire, which started because of lightning. It is believed to have killed a 62-year-old woman, whose body was found in her cabin.

Haberstick also noted that the fire is only 20 percent contained, and full containment could be between two and four weeks away. He noted that hot and dry conditions were expected to continue, but that crews had made significant progress in containing a small spot fire, which erupted on Thursday afternoon north of the Cache La Poudre River. Haberstick stated:

“We’re hopeful that we will be able to contain it today, but that will be determined by Mother Nature. We’re going to continue to work to make our forests more resilient. We’re going to continue to ensure that adequate resources are provided for fighting fires and we are going to continue to make sure that we encourage appropriate stewardship of our forests.”

Check out more information about the High Park Fire below: