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57 More Homes Reported Lost In High Park Fire

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Behind the lines of the High Park Fire Thursday, June 21 with the Colorado Nat'l Guard (credit: CO Nat'l Guard)

Behind the lines of the High Park Fire Thursday, June 21 with the Colorado Nat’l Guard (credit: CO Nat’l Guard)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4/AP) -Officials at the High Park Fire on Sunday night reported that there have been 57 more homes lost to the fire, bringing the total to 248.

Forty-nine homes were destroyed in the Glacier Park subdivision and another four burned in the Deer Meadows area.

Earlier Sunday officials issued an all-clear for residents on Kings Canyon Road, Unger Mountain Road, Smith Bridge Road, Manners Lane, and residents living on Highway 14 from Kings Canyon Road west to the Grey Rock Trail Head.

Residents will need to show identification with proof of address at the Highway 14/County Road 29C roadblock in order to obtain a pass to enter the area. Passes will be issued starting at noon Sunday. Residents are reminded to drive with caution in the area as fire crews continue to work the fire.

The fire is estimated at 83,204 acres with 45 percent containment. The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at $27.6 million.

Incident commander Bill Hahnenberg said some crews stationed near threatened homes had to retreat for their safety Friday, and containment had slipped from 60 percent to 45 percent. The lightning-caused fire burning 15 miles west of Fort Collins was reported June 9 and is blamed for the death of a 62-year-old woman whose body was found in her cabin.

Authorities issued nearly 1,000 evacuation notices Friday night, some of which went to residents who had returned home just two days earlier after leaving when the fire flared up Sunday. Authorities said the fire, which cast a silvery haze and dropped ash near its northern edge Saturday, is believed to have damaged or destroyed an additional 10 structures.

There are 2,000 fire personnel battling the fire. That number will increase as additional resources arrive Sunday.

There are 13 Type 1 hand crews, 21 Type 2 hand crews, 154 engines, 11 dozers and 27 water tenders. Air Resources include six Type 1 helicopters, three Type 2 helicopters, six Type 3 helicopters, five heavy air tankers, one Type 2 helicopter with a radiometric imaging system attached and fixed wing support aircraft.

On Friday, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed executive orders releasing $6.2 million more in state disaster money to fight this fire and two others.

The Fort Collins-area fire will have $5 million more available, on top of $20 million made available by a previous order. The blaze has qualified for 75 percent federal reimbursement for firefighting costs, Hickenlooper’s office said.

Meanwhile, a wildfire near Colorado Springs has quickly grown to more than 2,000 acres and prompted thousands of residents to flee their homes, while another fire to the north claimed more than a dozen cabins and structures after sweeping through a Rocky Mountain neighborhood.

Crews near the mountain community of Estes Park were mopping up after the Woodland Heights fire that also sparked Saturday destroyed 24 structures.

The Denver Post reports investigators are determining whether the fire started in a cabin before spreading or started as a wildfire before moving toward the homes.

The fire was attacked quickly by air and ground crews.

Elsewhere in Colorado, a fire near Mancos in the southwestern part of the state prompted authorities to order the evacuation of 55 homes Saturday. Fire spokeswoman Pam Wilson said the blaze was reported Friday and has burned and estimated 2,500 acres.

Crews also were battling a wildfire near Pagosa Springs that has charred more than 18,000 acres of rugged and inaccessible terrain north of the Piedra River. That fire was sparked by lighting May 13 and is 34 percent contained.

Wildfire Resources

- Visit CBSDenver.com’s Wildfire Resources section.

- Read recent Wildfire stories.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfires (High Park Fire and Fourmile Fire) and largest wildfire (Hayman Fire) in Colorado history.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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