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Fire tops 2013 stories for SLV

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 31st, 2013


South Fork's landmark logger stands guard against threatening flames and smoke from the West Fork Complex Fire. Courier photo by Keith R. Cerny


VALLEY — At 109,615 acres the West Fork Complex Fire was the second largest fire in Colorado history and the San Luis Valley’s top story of the year for 2013. The West Fork Complex Fire ultimately cost $33 million and generated an Executive Order declaring it a disaster emergency.

Although huge plumes of smoke from the fire were visible in the San Luis Valley above the San Juan Mountains on June 19, official emergency networks said the fire posed no immediate threat to Highway 160, Wolf Creek Ski Area, South Fork, or Creede. That all changed, however, when the fire breached the Continental Divide.

The West Fork Complex Fire, the combination of the West Fork and Windy Pass Fires, both caused by lightning on the Pagosa Springs side of Wolf Creek Pass, was now on the Rio Grande National Forest on the east side of Wolf Creek.



For the complete article see the 12-31-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 12-31-2013 paper.











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