COSTILLA COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Spring Fire burning in Costilla County grew to 78,941 acres overnight Monday into Tuesday. The wildfire is only five percent contained as of Tuesday morning.
Emergency officials announced Monday night 104 homes have been destroyed and 61 others are intact. They say property owners in Forbes Park can view the assessment report that lists those homes individually.
PHOTO GALLERY: Spring Fire July 3, 2018
Officials say more assessments are planned.
The blaze has burned 89 square miles about 200 miles from Denver and forced the evacuation of more than 2,000 homes since last Wednesday.
The man accused of starting the fire has changed his story.
Jesper Joergensen, 52, initially said he had started a fire to burn trash on land where he has been living in a camper but then said he had been grilling in a permanent fire pit the day before the wildfire started.
Joergensen said he woke up Wednesday from a nap, smelled smoke and saw a fire burning in sage brush about 20 feet away from the fire pit. He said he tried to put it out but caught a blanket on fire and burned himself.
The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad said the fire destroyed its outdoor concert stage and it is raising money to rebuild it.
The Colorado National Guard has also responded to the fire with a total of 52 members and 10 Colorado Air National Guard.
Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and crews from Buckley Air Force Base have also deployed to help with water drops.
“We are here to help our neighbors in Costilla County to save lives, prevent suffering and mitigate great property damage,” Director of the Joint Staff U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Gregory White said.
LINK: Spring Fire InciWeb Page
– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Living With Wildfire section.
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