More firefighters to join effort to stop Colorado wildfire
(CNN) — Officials plan to more than double the amount of fire engines battling the raging wildfire in northern Colorado Wednesday, June 13th in the hopes of stopping the blaze that has scorched more than 43,300 acres, destroyed dozens of structures and pushed thousands from their homes.
On Tuesday, 40 fire engines and 17 fire crews battled the blaze and were able to get it 10% contained, officials said. On Wednesday, the team fighting the blaze will grow to 100 engines and 34 crews, said Bill Hahnenberg, an incident commander.
President Barack Obama telephoned Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday and said his administration is already making personnel, equipment and federal grants available to the state to help in the effort.
The blaze was caused by lightning, officials said.
First measured at two acres early Saturday, the High Park Fire has grown exponentially in the time since, burning 43,372 acres in around the city of Fort Collins and leaving one person dead.
But fire officials had some positive news Tuesday.
“We have made some progress on this fire we are at 10% containment,” Steve Segin, of the Rocky Mountain incident team, said Tuesday evening. “That is where it starts and every day the containment number is going to go up.”
Still thousands have been urged to evacuate leaving some families in the area with tough decisions.
Mark Engle said despite the risk he may want to wait out.
He saw the thick smoke billow through the air outside his Colorado home on Tuesday. From a window, he watched deer grazing in his backyard, driven out of the forest by flames that have devoured thousands of acres of land only a few miles away. His children’s backpacks were placed by the door, stuffed with their favorite toys.
His family was packed and ready to leave in a hurry, Engle said.
But they want to stay put, even though authorities have ordered residents in the area to evacuate.
“There’s a number of people like myself, (for whom) packing up and leaving when you have livestock and animals just isn’t as easy as if you have just a house,” Engle said.