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Boulder County fire is most destructive in state history after burning 991 structures

Here are the four other most destructive fires in Colorado.

COLORADO, USA — Thursday’s Marshall Fire is now the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said 991 homes were destroyed in the fire, and 127 others were damaged. 

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Here are the four other wildfires that have destroyed the most homes in Colorado's recorded history. 

Credit: 9NEWS File Photo
The Black Forest Fire destroyed hundreds of homes south of the Palmer Divide.

Black Forest Fire

El Paso County, 2013 

498 homes destroyed

The Black Forest Fire burned through a heavily-populated area surrounded by dense forest on the south end of the Palmer Divide.

Two people died, and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office counted 498 homes destroyed.

East Troublesome Fire

Grand County, 2020

366 homes destroyed

The East Troublesome Fire started deep in the Arapaho National Forest on Oct. 14. Six days later, the fire started spreading dramatically, forcing evacuations in Grand Lake and eventually, all of Estes Park. More than 35,000 people were forced out of their homes.

From Oct. 21-22, the fire burned more than 87,000 acres through Grand County and across the Continental Divide. Drought, dead trees, high winds and low humidity fueled its rapid spread, even during the night.

A winter storm arrived that Saturday night, slowing down the fire. From that point on, fire growth slowed down.

The explosive spread burned through 366 homes, primarily on the outer edges of the town of Grand Lake.

Lyle and Marilyn Hileman died in their home near Grand Lake. Their son said his parents would not evacuate, and instead tried to wait out the fire in their concrete basement. 

By April 2021, 41 permits to rebuild had been filed, according to a Grand County spokesperson.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Credit: 9NEWS File Photo
The Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs was the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history.

Waldo Canyon Fire

Colorado Springs, 2012

346 homes destroyed

The Waldo Canyon Fire started about three miles west of Colorado Springs. Three days after it started, wind gusts of 65 miles per hour pushed the flames toward three neighborhoods.

In a span of 12 hours, 346 homes burned down.

Two people died as they tried to evacuate.

Credit: deberarr - stock.adobe.com
A view of the High Park Fire from Horsetooth Reservoir in 2012.

High Park Fire

Fort Collins, 2012

259 homes destroyed

A lightning strike in the foothills just west of Fort Collins ignited the High Park Fire. It burned for almost a month, fueled by widespread drought and strong winds.

A total of 259 homes burned down. At the time, it was Colorado's most destructive fire on record. Less than a month later it would be topped by the Waldo Canyon Fire.

"This is probably the fire we were always concerned we might possibly have," Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said at the time. 

Eight years later, he'd be dealing with another fire that lasted for months longer, and was nearly as devastating.

9News journalist Zack Newman contributed to this report.

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