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Rebuilding Is Slow 1 Year After Fourmile Fire

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The Fourmile Fire broke out in the foothills west of Boulder in early September 2011 and wound up destroying 169 homes. It was determined that a volunteer firefighter was responsible for the start of the blaze. The 70-year-old had been burning brush on his property in a fire pit and a few days later the fire pit apparently reignited because it wasn't fully extinguished. No charges were filed by the Boulder County District Attorney. (credit: CBS)

The Fourmile Fire broke out in the foothills west of Boulder in early September 2011 and wound up destroying 169 homes. It was determined that a volunteer firefighter was responsible for the start of the blaze. The 70-year-old had been burning brush on his property in a fire pit and a few days later the fire pit apparently reignited because it wasn’t fully extinguished. No charges were filed by the Boulder County District Attorney. (credit: CBS)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – One year ago the Fourmile fire began in Boulder County. That fire on Labor Day weekend eventually burned 169 homes and more than 6,000 acres.

Firefighters say conditions this year are cool and dry — similar to last Labor Day weekend and a burn ban is in effect in Boulder County.

“We’re actually a little drier with our fuels than we were during the Fourmile Canyon fire,” Jay Stalnacker with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said. “The difference being the high wind event the day of the Fourmile Canyon fire. But we’re right there. Any wind and any ignition source right now could be a bad thing.”

Rebuilding has been slow in the aftermath of the most destructive fire in Colorado history. Only two homes have been rebuilt and a total of 45 building permits have been issued.

“The sheriff and the fire community really want to thank the public and the Boulder County community for the way they came together, the way they recovered from this and are moving forward,” Stalnacker said.

The sheriff’s office isn’t taking any chances and being proactive.

“Mid week last week we went into a fire ban. There’s no open burning, no slash pile burning, no trash pile burning,” Stalnacker said. “This is our situation; everything is drying out.”

It would take much more than a heavy downpour over the course of a day to lift the fire ban.

“Looks like between no moisture in the future and the high wind events we could probably be in this restriction ban for a little bit at least.”

The fire ban has caused some division in the community, but Boulder County, with many homes nestled in heavy forest, has much to lose from an out-of-control fire.

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