After burning nearly 194,000 acres, the second-largest wildfire recorded in Colorado history is now safely contained after 48 days.
As fire crews were battling the Cameron Peak Fire among other state wildfires, the East Troublesome Fire was first reported on October 14. As of Monday, November 30, the fire is 100 percent contained. The cause is still under investigation.
The East Troublesome Fire quickly spread to 100,000 acres in a mere 24 hours. Large wildfires often create their own weather systems. The East Troublesome Fire was no exception. It was reported to have created a tornado and a vertical column of fire and intense winds, exponentially spreading the fire rapidly.
State officials, first responders, and experts continued to work tirelessly to not only battle the fire but to protect as many lives and structures as possible. A winter storm brought much-needed colder temperatures and moisture October 24-26. This was a turning point for containment as it jumped from 4 percent to 15 percent containment in these three short days.
An estimated preliminary report states that "366 residences and 214 outbuildings and commercial structures were destroyed or damaged" and that "portions of these areas remain closed for public safety due to snag trees and other hazards." Personnel is now focused on post-wildfire emergency response and recovery efforts.
Be sure to thank firefighters and first responders when you see them. They are heroes (even when they don't make the news). Gather your family together and make thank-you cards to send to your local fire station.