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Cost of Lightner Creek Fire tops $2 million

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Thursday, July 6, 2017 5:37 PM
A helicopter takes water from Lake Durango to fight the Lightner Creek Fire on June 29 west of Durango.
The Lightner Creek Fire a few miles west of Durango burned 412 acres.

Battling the 412-acre Lightner Creek Fire a few miles west of Durango cost slightly more than $2 million as of Thursday, said Scot Davis, spokesman with the Durango Fire Protection District.

The tab will be picked up by the state of Colorado and federal government, which have a cost-sharing agreement, he said.

The fire department also incurred expenses for the first six hours of the fire, he said.

Control of the fire will be handed over to the Durango Fire Protection District on Friday.

The wildfire is 100 percent contained. All roads closed during the fire, including county roads 207 and 208, reopened Wednesday morning.

A Type III incident command team from Montrose – which includes ground crews, a fire engine and a helicopter – continued to douse hot spots and monitor the burn area Wednesday, Davis said.

“They’re basically just doing air patrol and ground patrol,” he said.

The fire was reported at 4:06 p.m. June 28 in the 1200 block of Lightner Creek Road (County Road 207). It started inside the home of Christine Polinsky and spread to the surrounding wildland, running up a hill on the west side of the canyon before “spotting” to the east side of the canyon.

Gov. John Hickenlooper declared the fire a disaster area June 29, which made the Colorado National Guard available to provide support, if requested.

It took firefighters nine minutes to respond to the house fire.

Fire investigators continue to look for the cause; no criminal activity is suspected, Davis said.

Polinsky’s home was the only one that burned.

The wildfire led to the evacuation of 170 homes for about four days.

shane@durangoherald.com

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