ST LOUIS (LALATE) – In the latest High Park Fire Map update issued to news today, officials warned that the Colorado wildfires situation could worsen tonight June 22, 2012, amid new red flag weather warnings. The High Park Fire is still at fifty-five percent containment. But officials in a news briefing today warned that exceptionally bad weather moving into the area tonight could cause problems for Colorado firefighters.
On Thursday, officials told news that the efforts by High Park firefighters has been exceptional. In twelve days of work, and a task force of two thousand firefighters, officials report a mere single injury. In a news briefing, regional forester Dan Jiron called the safety record by the team “remarkable”.
Bill Hahnenberg, fire incident commander, told news yesterday that he is hoping to improve the containment lines Friday. That came after improved weather conditions on Wednesday and Thursday.
But this weekend, a new weather movement could prompt trouble. A Red Flag warning has been issued for the region from noon Friday until ten PM on Saturday. Officials warn that this “marks the beginning of a 3 day trend for high temperatures, low humidity, and windy conditions”.
The National Weather Service tells news today that a red-flag warning will reach across the state and bring increase temperatures and winds. Gusts could reach 22 mph and temperatures could surpass 97 degrees, officials told news.
Meantime, the number of structures destroyed could still increase. Damage assessment teams and local agencies are on scene and still trying to determine the loss of residential and commercial structures. But they advise news that the “numbers of structures and outbuildings lost may increase as official information is released.” The current number of homes lost remains at 189. The total cost of the fire has surpassed $19.6 million.
Officials also tell news that the High Park Fire Disaster Recovery Center will remain open at Johnson Hall on the Colorado State University Campus. That center provides services to residents seven days per week. For the latest map and update, click HERE.