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As High Park Fire Grows, So Does Place Place In Colorado History

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The south side of the High Park Fire on June 12 (credit: CBS)

The south side of the High Park Fire on June 12 (credit: CBS)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- As the High Park Fire grows so does its place in history.

The deadliest fire in recent Colorado history was the Storm King Mountain Fire. In 1994, 14 fire jumpers died when the fire blew up and trapped them.

The two largest fires in Colorado history burned simultaneously. Ten years ago the Hayman Fire scorched 138,000 acres.

“This is at least four times as large as any fire we’ve ever seen in Colorado. We at Def Con One from movie fame,” said Gov. Bill Owens in 2002.

U.S. Forest Service worker Terry Barton intentionally set that fire by moving rocks in a fire pit so the flames would escape and she would look like a hero by quickly extinguishing the fire.

At the same time the Hayman Fire was burning, the Missionary Ridge Fire burned 70,000 acres near Durango.

The most expensive fire in Colorado history is the Fourmile Fire. That fire burned 169 homes starting on Labor Day 2010.

The High Park Fire is the largest fire in a decade, already the third-largest fire in recent Colorado history behind the Hayman and Missionary Ridge Fires. It is also the third most costly behind Fourmile and Hayman.

The High Park Fire broke out Saturday in the Paradise Park area of Larimer County, about 15 miles west of Fort Collins. It is burning on 70 percent private land and 30 percent public land. Very hot and windy conditions have been spreading the blaze quickly in forested areas that include lots of trees killed by pine beetles.

It was started by lightning and burned 46,600 acres by Wednesday morning.

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