Your Questions Answered: Colorado’s 2012 wildfire season “unprecedented”
by Nick Emmons
It’s no exaggeration to say Colorado is burning. The state is going through one of the worst fire seasons on record, with some calling it unprecedented.
At least eight wildfires are burning across the state, with several major fires starting this past week.
The High Park Fire, burning around 15 miles west of Fort Collins, is finally showing signs of slowing down after quickly becoming Colorado’s second largest wildfire and one of the state’s most destructive. It has charred more than 87,000 acres since it was sparked by lightning on June 9.
Officials say one person was killed in the High Park Fire and more than 250 homes have been destroyed.
The Waldo Canyon Fire is burning west of Colorado Springs, and it has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.
The fire started Saturday and exploded to 15,000 acres by Tuesday night when high winds pushed the flames into neighborhoods. Nearly 350 homes have been destroyed in the Waldo Canyon Fire, making it the state’s most destructive wildfire. It is only 15-percent contained.
Officials confirm one fire-related death and say at least one person is missing.
The FBI is investigating the possibility that an arsonist started the Waldo Canyon Fire.
Another wildfire that started on Saturday is the Woodland Heights Fire in Estes Park.
The fire consumed fewer than 30 acres, but destroyed 22 homes.
High winds are to blame for starting the Woodland Heights Fire after a power line rubbed against a pine tree. It`s now fully contained.
The Flagstaff Fire is burning in the foothills west of Boulder and has burned approximately 300 acres. Though the fire is still burning, evacuation orders have been lifted—for now.
Officials believe the Flagstaff Fire was sparked by lightning on Tuesday.
The 700 acre Pine Ridge Fire is burning in western Colorado near Grand Junction.
Lightning is being blamed for starting the Pine Ridge Fire last Wednesday. Fire crews say it`s an aggressive fire that`s still growing and it is threatening at least seven buildings.
One of the largest fires from this past week is the Last Chance Fire, which burned tens of thousands of acres. It destroyed two homes, along with nine other buildings.
This fire started Monday when a car blew a tire, sending sparks into dry brush. In all, the fire charred some 45,000 before being contained.
There are still a few other fires burning across the state, such as the Weber Fire near Durango and the Treasure Fire near Leadville. Neither is contained.
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