FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper spent Sunday morning in Larimer County talking with firefighters and evacuees of the High Park Fire.
“It’s a rotten way to start a beautiful Sunday morning in Colorado,” Hickenlooper said.
He said the fire continues to burn completely uncontained and noted that there is considerable risk as the wind continues to shift and blow the fire to areas where a lot of houses and other buildings are located.
“They’re estimating over 12,000 acres burned so far, but that’s changing rapidly … simultaneously 18 structures have been burned that we know about,” Hickenlooper said.
He also mentioned the search for several people whose whereabouts are unknown.
“A couple people have mentioned the other night that this is a fire that a lot of folks in Larimer County have always worried about. It does potentially have significant consequences.”
He said roughly 1/3 of the country’s heavy fire retardant equipment is in Colorado to help fight the fire.
“We’re going to throw everything at it that we can,” he said. “The most important resources we have is nature. We’d like the wind to calm down; obviously the humidity is quite low; that’s not good.”
He said all the best equipment is no good when the winds are strong and the equipment can’t be put into use.
“We said this for a couple of months now that the conditions this summer give every indication that we’re going to be at risk all summer long.”
PHOTO GALLERY: High Park Fire
He said in next couple of weeks he’s going to look into whether there should be a state-wide ban on fireworks this summer.
“Is this one of those summers where we really have to take extraordinary precautions and try to do everything we can to make sure we limit the possibility of a fire started?”
As for the High Park Fire, Hickenlooper said right now the primary goal is to make sure all the people are out of the way of the fire.
“It’s a terrible thing to have people waiting to hear about their homes, but it’s 1,000 times worse to have someone missing.”
Hickenlooper planned to visit the evacuation center in Laporte to see how the people there are coping and to reassure them he is doing everything he can for them.
– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Wildfire Resources section.
– Read recent Wildfire stories.
Wildfire Photo Galleries