The number of homes confirmed lost to the High Park Fire has risen to 181, according to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department.
Of the additional 69 residences confirmed burned at Saturday afternoon’s citizen briefing at The Ranch in Loveland, 51 were in the Davis Ranch area, 10 on Stove Prairie Road, and eight in Rist Canyon. (Seven reported yesterday as in Risk Canyon are actually in Rist Creek.) No homes were lost in the Laurence Creek/Redstone area. To date, none have been reported along Buckhorn Road (County Road 44H), but a full assessment has not been done because of firefighting activity in the area.
In all, homeowners in Stratton Park, Pine Acres, Soldier Canyon, Missile Silo Road, Cloudy Pass, Picnic Rock, Spring Valley, Old Flowers, Whale Rock, Paradise Park, Tip Top, Rist Creek, Poudre Canyon from Stove Prairie to the mouth of Poudre Canyon, Davis Ranch, Laurence Creek/Redstone, Buckhorn Road, Stove Prairie, and Rist Canyon have been informed of the status of their homes.
Residents of Cloudy Pass began returning home at noon Saturday, and they do not need credentials.
Residents of the Poudre Canyon up to Gateway Park were also allowed back home at noon, but they need to obtain credentials at either the evacuation center or the road block at Colorado Highway 14 and U.S. Highway 287 at Ted’s Place. The highway remains closed to the general public.
Residents in the neighborhoods of Soldier Canyon and Mill Canyon will be able to return home starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Access will be restricted to residents with proper credentials only, and residents will remain on a two-hour pre-evacuation alert for the next 24 hours in case conditions change. Residents are also asked to keep the roads clear for firefighting equipment.
Residents who could not attend the 3 p.m. citizens briefing can call 970-619-4086 for information. The number is staffed 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, and will take messages after hours. The Disaster Recovery Center will be open Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Johnson Hall on the Colorado State University campus.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who oversees the U.S. Forest Service, Gov. John Hickenlooper and Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet toured the fire area Saturday. The fire is burning on 31 percent Forest Service land, the remainder on private and state-owned land.
No new growth or containment were reported for Saturday, leaving the High Park Fire 20 percent contained and burning on 54,232 acres. The number of homes lost makes it the most destructive fire in Colorado history, surpassing the 169 burned in the Fourmile Fire near Boulder in 2010 and the 133 lost in 2002’s Hayman Fire in Jefferson County.
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