|Instead of a photo of a smoke-filled sky, I'm happy to post this pic of a day lily that opened this morning in my garden.|
At this time, the fire is 55% contained, with over 68,000 acres burned. 189 homes are confirmed lost (including the home of a colleague of mine) and one person, a 62-year-old grandmother, has perished.
Everyone here in the area of the fire is so grateful for the presence of the many firefighters and assistance personnel who have been toiling non-stop to get this blaze under control. At this time, nearly 2,000 people are working this fire, and I'm not sure that number includes the volunteers who may be assisting with operations. Signs have popped up all along Overland Trail, the route that the fire vehicles take to their staging area, reading "THANK YOU!" and I have seen small crowds stand to applaud fire trucks en route to the fire.
From the Inciweb.org website (The High Park Fire is incident #2904) here are some updated statistics and helpful information regarding the fire:
18 helicopters: 8 Type 1 Helicopters; 3 Type 2 Helicopters; 6 Type 3 Helicopters
(3 Blackhawk Helicopters included in those numbers)
2 Heavy Air Tankers (available if needed)
16 Type 1 Hand Crews
25 Type 2 Hand Crews
25 Water Tenders
6 Feller Bunchers to cut and gather trees
As of 6/19/12 nearly 1.3 million gallons of water have been dropped on the fire.
At approximate 5:30 a.m. on Monday, June 18, 2012, a person assigned to the fire was involved in a non- life threatening injury. They were transported by ambulance to the hospital for treatment. The accident was not fire line related.
Larimer County opened the High Park Fire Disaster Recovery Center on June 15, at Johnson Hall on the Colorado State University Campus. The center is open Mon.-Fri. from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center will likely remain open for 3-4 weeks. More information about the Disaster Recovery Center at Larimer.org.
Register cell phones for notifications at leta911.org
The Humane Society is providing assistance for evacuated people who need help with rescue and welfare of animals behind the road blocks. Call 226-3647 ext. 7.
Some 50 National Guard members are assisting with roadblocks.
The cost of the fire to date is $19.6 million.
The good news is that today's weather conditions will be favorable for fire suppression, with temps in the low 80s and light winds. The weekend is supposed to get much hotter, so here's hoping that today's efforts are optimal. Good luck and thanks again to everyone working to suppress the fire.