GRANBY, Colo. (CBS4) – Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin has confirmed the massive East Troublesome Fire destroyed or damaged 250 buildings. Deputies and the National Guard are now making sure nothing else happens to those homes.
Some areas remain under mandatory evacuations in the county due to the wildfire, which is now 30 percent contained. Rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park are also assessing damage there and cutting down trees that might pose dangers to visitors so the park can reopen. Mandatory evacuations have been lifted for the Estes Park area. Some voluntary restrictions are still in place there.
The East Troublesome Fire is the second largest wildfire in recorded Colorado history at 193,774 acres. It started on Oct. 14 in a manner that remains under investigation, and on Oct. 21 it exploded in heavy winds and dry conditions, burning an unprecedented 100,000 acres in single day as it moved eastward across Grand County. It roared past Grand Lake and into the national park, crossing the Continental Divide in the process and creating a spot fire that led to evacuations for the Estes Park area. On Oct. 25 a snowstorm moved into the burn area and dropped around a foot of snow in many place.
Cold temperatures since then have slowed the snowmelt and helped keep the fire from growing.