Colorado Wildfire Victims Returning to Homes

April 3, 2012

The Lower North Fork wildfire in Jefferson County, Colo. is nearly 100 percent contained, and with all remaining evacuation and pre-evacuation orders lifted on Tuesday residents were returning to their homes.

The fire, believed to have been started by a prescribed burn by Colorado State Forest Service and fanned by high winds on Monday, consumed 4,140 acres and destroyed 25 structures. It also killed three people.

At one point the fire had forced the evacuation of 900 homes, and required more than 700 firefighting personnel, plus numerous aircraft and helicopters to drop fire retardants and water.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been assisting with funding and firefighting activities. FEMA Urban Search and Rescue had been conducting a search for one person still missing in the area. That person was later found dead in a burned down residence.

There are no estimates available yet on insured losses.

If the Forest Service is found to be responsible for starting the fire, under a Colorado law, which limits liability for the state and its taxpayers, the state would only be liable to pay up to $600,000 total.

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