Another Week, Another Front Range Wildfire

September 13 2010, 9:07 AM

As the Fourmile Fire in Boulder County calmed down over the weekend after destroying 166 structures (a number slightly down from initial estimates), a new fire erupted yesterday in the foothills outside Loveland, about 30 miles north of the Fourmile blaze. Firefighters will again take to the air and ground to battle the estimated 700-acre Reservoir Road wildfire, which has consumed at least two homes and has resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of families in the Loveland area, reports the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

The fire, which officials say is moving at a rapid pace, is in rocky, wooded terrain between the Pinewood and Flatiron reservoirs. As was the case in the Fourmile Fire, "conditions are very dry, with high temperatures and low humidity," says fire marshal Merlin Green (via Longmont's Daily Times-Call).

Still, as of late last night, the Fourmile Fire was considered 87 percent contained after scorching 6,427 acres, according to 9News. The bill for fighting that fire: at least $6.77 million so far.

But some environmentalists are worried that the costs are more than monetary. They say the fire-retarding substance being dropped on the flames by tanker planes, which contains a fertilizer that deprives the fire of oxygen, is an environmental hazard that can kill fish and plants if it gets into the water supply. A judge agreed earlier this year, notes The Associated Press, finding the practice illegal and giving the U.S. Forest Service until the end of the year to find a less potentially destructive alternative.

Meanwhile, acupuncturists are helping displaced residents relieve stress resulting from their evacuations and worries about their homes, writes The Denver Post. And various other area residents and businesses are also chipping in to help evacuees and firefighters, including Boulder's Spa at St. Julien, which is donating 100 percent of the proceeds earned from the facials and massages it gives today.