LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4)– While the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office continues to assess the damage caused by the High Park Fire burning west of Fort Collins, many evacuees are frustrated they don’t know the status of their homes and property.
Starting at 7 a.m. Friday a disaster recovery center will open on the Colorado State University campus. The center will be where evacuees can obtain more information about the progress of the High Park Fire and get access to services.
Evacuees from Poudre Canyon, Boyd Gulch and King’s Canyon attended a meeting at the evacuation center at The Ranch at the Larimer County Fairgrounds Thursday afternoon. They were hoping to learn more about the status of their homes.
“I think it’s unusually frustrating. I’m not one to get easily frustrated, but it’s frustrating not knowing. You know the statement of ‘It’s harder not to know’ seems like such a cliche, but it really is harder not to know,” said Rist Canyon resident Ryan Houdek.
“The last time walking out of our house it was just really scary because we didn’t know if we were going to be able to go back to it. And we still don’t know,” said Mill Canyon resident Mariah Greenwood.
Officials said at least 48 homes have been destroyed, but they are still checking to get a total number, which is likely much higher. Officials informed residents of 17 homes Thursday afternoon that the massive fire had destroyed their property. Those homes were located at the Stone Prairie intersection to the mouth of Poudre Canyon.
Of those homes destroyed, 17 were in Poudre Canyon, 22 were located in Stratton Park, five in Pine Acres located in lower Rist Canyon and four along the Front Range in the Poudre Fire Authority District. At least 100 structures have burned.
Those who live in areas where property damage has been confirmed can call 970-619-4086 to find out the status of their home. This phone line will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. from 5:00 p.m.
The total acreage of the High Park Fire Thursday afternoon was at about 52,000 and 15-20 percent contained. The fire west of Fort Collins was started by lightning last week and quickly grew out of control. One woman was killed in the fire.