High Park Fire: Update

June 12 2012, 10:49 AM

6/13 Update, 9:38 a.m.: Read Robert Sanchez's thoughts on how this fire is similar to the Fourmile Fire.

6/13 Update, 9:06 a.m.: Evacuated residents could learn the fate of their homes later today during a 3:00 p.m. briefing at the Ranch (I-25 and Crossroads Boulevard). @LarimerSheriff tweets: "Updated info at citizen briefing today on home assessment. Specific list may not be available but latest information will be."

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In 2009, we asked when Colorado’s next big wildfire might occur. This week, we have our answer. At the same time the state is marking the 10-year anniversary of the Hayman Fire, the largest in Colorado history, the High Park Fire in Larimer County could turn out to be almost as bad.

In just a few days, the fire has burned more than 37,000 acres, which already makes it the third-biggest wildfire in Colorado annals. Given the recent spell of windy, dry weather in the Front Range, officials aren’t anywhere close to containing the blaze, which apparently started after a Saturday-morning lightning strike in the hills about 15 miles west of Fort Collins.

For more information about wildfire safety tips, check out our 2009 article (link above), or visit the Larimer County wildfire safety website for relevant phone numbers and information on how to protect your home and yourself from further damage. Readers with updates on the fire’s status or suggestions on where to find supplies or relief from the effects of the smoke are encouraged to log them in our comments section or send pictures to [email protected].

We will update this blog as new information arises. In the meantime, best of luck to everyone who’s either fighting or affected by the flames.