FORT COLLINS, COLO. – As the High Park Fire continues to spread through Larimer County, Congressman Cory Gardner (R-CO) and the entire Colorado delegation is asking the United States Forest Service (USFS) for additional resources and assistance.
“We cannot stress enough the high concern for this fire – emergency personnel believe the High Park Fire is a perfect storm of conditions and location. There is no time for delay. In particular, the need for air resources is dire,” Gardner wrote in a letter to USFS Chief Tom Tidwell.
The letter emphasizes that the state’s recent drought conditions, steep terrain and beetle-killed trees are all factors adding fuel to the fire. The Congressman will be attending the 8pm briefing at the fire command center in Laporte and has made his staff available to the USFS should they have any questions or need assistance regarding his request for more resources.
Sen. Mark Udall also expressed concern over the fire, calling upon President Obama to sign legislation permitting the U.S. Forest Service to contract several large tankers to add to its aging fleet of 13.
The fire has grown to over 37,000 acres and has destroyed over 100 structures, forcing hundreds of residents in the Redstone, Rist, Buckhorn and Poudre canyons to evacuate their homes.
While other wildfires are raging across the country, the High Park fire is considered a priority because of its proximity to a large number of homes.
The fire is difficult to contain because of the dry, windy conditions in the area in the midst of an historic drought in the state.
The drought is also causing emergency conditions in Weld County where many farmers are saying they only have a few days’ worth of water left before their crops begin to dry up.