The final group of evacuees was allowed to return yesterday to the burn zone inside Fourmile Canyon, west of Boulder. As residents went back, some to the charred remains of their homes, questions lingered, as 9News points out. Will they ever be able to rebuild their houses? Will the insurance companies compensate them fairly?
For those who still have homes amid the ashes, The Denver Post raises another question: How will home values in the exclusive area fare in the wake of the state’s most devastating fire in terms of property damage? Prices were already struggling amid the recession, after reaching highs in recent years.
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“This is just insult to injury,” says Peter Maybee, a Realtor with Colorado Landmark, who doubts he can even sell his own mountain home now.
John Loomis, a Colorado State University professor who has studied the effects of wildfires on real estate markets, is predicting at least a 10 percent price drop in the fire-zone area. Boulder County Assessor Jerry Roberts has seen worse in the county’s burn zones—value loss of 50 percent or more. And, in an opinion that doesn’t bode well for nearby neighborhoods, he anticipates prices dropping in surrounding areas, beyond the boundaries of where the flames reached.
Meanwhile, evacuees also returned home after being displaced by the Reservoir Road Fire west of Loveland, reports the Fort Collins Coloradoan. That blaze, which has consumed 740 acres, is considered 65 percent contained and could be fully contained by Friday.
Let’s hope we’ve seen the last of the wildfires for the season, but if you live in a threatened area, read associate editor Julie Dugdale’s “Slow Burn” to be fully prepared.