Boulder Fourmile Canyon fire damage estimate rises: 169 residences, 3 other structures burned

At 7:56 a.m., we published an update about the Fourmile Canyon fire near Boulder in which a public-information officer estimated that 140 structures had burned, with no guess as to how many were homes. But the story's changing quickly. Spokesperson Lynn Barclay says the number of destroyed structures is now placed at 172, with 169 of them identified as residences.

In addition, Barclay says, another 25 structures have been damaged.

The rest of the information provided in the post linked above remains current. Check it out below:

"We aren't issuing a containment percentage at this point," says Greg Huele, public-information-officer trainee for the Fairmount Fire Protection District. "We've got close to twenty miles of fire line around the fire, with about three miles of completed line -- and we built line yesterday and all through the night. But it's not considered containment just because the line is there. We need to secure that, and make sure it stays secure, before we can call sections contained."

The latest map of the Fourmile Canyon fire perimeter.
The latest map of the Fourmile Canyon fire perimeter.

At this writing, the Boulder Office of Emergency Management web page hasn't posted specific addresses for the structures said to have been destroyed. Indeed, the only addresses listed are for the first 54 structures confirmed burned in recent days -- just over half of the 92 said to have been lost as of yesterday.

According to Huele, the latest numbers "can still change, depending on conditions."

Indeed, the weather doesn't look good for the massive crew now involved in fighting the blaze: 550 firefighters from at least 35 different agencies, with assistance from an air armada consisting of five heavy air tankers, four fixed-wing aircraft and five helicopters.

"We have a wind event coming in at six o'clock tonight -- a red flag warning. And we have hot, dry weather before then. The fuels in the fire area are going to dry out today when the sun really starts shining on it, and the small amount of rain that occurred on the fire yesterday didn't have that large an impact. There's still a pretty good potential for fire spread."

Nonetheless, some residents in evacuated areas on the east side of the conflagration -- the subdivisions of Boulder Heights, Pine Brook Hills and Carriage Hills -- will be able to return to their homes after 10 a.m. today.

Huele notes that residents may have to pull out again if conditions change, but "we feel confident that the areas will be secure for any visitors. The areas we have concern about will still not be open to the public."

He also has a warning for residents who've snuck past roadblocks to access off-limits sections: "People think they know how to get out of there safely, but fires can be very unpredictable."

This one certainly has been.

To get on an e-mail list to receive the latest fire information, send a request to fourmilecanyonfire@gmail.com. More information is also at this website: www.inciweb.org.

In the meantime, look below and page down to see some of the latest videos from the scene:

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