Wildfires have ravaged the state of Colorado since Tuesday, June 26. Now, the Spring Creek Fire dubbed the “double-headed dragon” has grown to encompass over 100,000 acres, according to the Denver Post. As of Wednesday, only five percent of the fire has been contained. Residents in Costilla and Huerfano counties have been urged to evacuate, but the ones that have remained are “crossing their fingers” for the promise of rain, said to come this weekend.
Authorities believe the Spring Creek Fire was started by local resident Jesper Joergensen. According to CBS News, Joergensen was cooking food on a fire pit last Tuesday. When he finished using the fire pit, Joergensen said he “believed the fire was out later that night,” but he admitted to authorities that he “did not pour water on it nor did he hold his hand over it to ensure it was completely cold.” Joergensen told police that when he woke up from a nap he realized there was a fire raging on his property. He was found fleeing from his home in his car, with his body covered in minor burns. He was arrested under “suspicion of first-degree arson.”
To date, the Spring Creek Fire has destroyed over one hundred homes and forced over 2,000 residents to evacuate. In addition to the Spring Creek Fire, firefighters must now contend with a string of other wildfires that have started in the last few days.
There’s the Lake Christine fire, which began at a Basalt gun range on Tuesday. As of Wednesday night, the fire was said to have taken over 2,700 acres, according to Denver Channel 7. The 416 fire, which has claimed over 50,000 acres near Durango, is only 45 percent contained. A fire at Weston Pass has reached over 10,000 acres, with only five percent containment. The High Chateau, Sugarloaf, and Burro fires have claimed over 1,400, 1,200, and 4,500 acres, respectively.
Only the High Chateau Wild Fire is close to extinction, at 75 percent containment. With so many fires raging throughout the state, resources are being diverted to each fire based on the risk of property damage. At present, many firefighters were sent to the Weston Pass fire, near Fairplay.
But Colorado is not the only state dealing with massive wildfires. In total, there are over 60 fires burning across the west coast, in New Mexico, Utah, Washington, California, Arizona, Oregon, and Nevada. According to CBS, over half a million acres have been claimed by the wildfire.