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Generous Contractors Help Out High Park Fire Victims

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A front-loader at the site of the new bridge (credit: CBS)

A front-loader at the site of the new bridge (credit: CBS)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – They’re trying to move on with their lives after a disastrous wildfire, and now victims of the High Park Fire are getting help from a group of generous contractors.

The fire destroyed 259 homes, and the Whale Rock subdivision northwest of Fort Collins was one of the hardest hit areas. Now contractors will help provide a bridge to new homes for the victims.

“We kind of kept hearing about this reoccurring theme about access to their properties,” Erin Mounsey with the American Red Cross said. “We’re talking about rebuilding and their saying they can’t even get stuff to their properties.”

That’s when the Northern Colorado Red Cross began looking for a way to help. Gary Gerrard and a handful of other local contractors answered that call.

“We saw this bridge and thought this is probably a good place to start,” Gerrard said. “The bridge was really impassable.”

During the High Park Fire the original bridge leading into the Whale Rock subdivision was badly damaged from all of the fire vehicles going up into the neighborhood. In fact, it was so badly damaged that the folks that live there actually had to drive through a dry creek bottom to even get up to their homes.

“We have several contractors that agreed to donate either all or a portion of their labor or materials to do this,” Gerrard said.

Larimer County is also pitching into help construct the $130,000 bridge.

“What it really shows to me is that we have something really special you certainly don’t find all around the world, and even not just in our country — a really resilient community where neighbors come together to help each other,” Mounsey said.

The bridge will be fully operational in about one month.

Wildfire Resources

- Visit CBSDenver.com’s Wildfire Resources section.

- Read recent Wildfire stories.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

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

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