Florida Wildfires Provide Big Start to 2017 Fire Season

Florida wildfires have already produced unprecedented statistics for the 2017 wildfire season. Spring is wildfire season for the region, but the acreage burned to date has far exceeded the past decade’s averages. Wildfires throughout the Southern Plains in early March made up much of the acreage when more than a million acres collectively burned. So far, almost 2.2 million acres have burned according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). In the past ten years, the annual average by April 13th is over four times lower at 434,696 acres.

Southern Area Fire Outlook

In their April 1st Outlook Report, NIFC’s Predictive Services attributed the uptick in activity to warmer and drier than normal conditions in several southern states. Florida especially has taken the brunt of the action of late with drought conditions persisting in the height of their fire season. Since February, prolonged fire activity has scorched 70,000+ acres there this spring with 19 structures collectively lost. Currently, there are 31 active wildfires over 100 acres and more than 100 fires statewide.

Florida Wildfires Prompt State of Emergency

Due to major fires currently burning and the fire potential related to the ongoing and forecasted dry conditions, a state of emergency was initiated on Tuesday (April 11th) by Florida Governor Rick Scott. Also, several Central Florida counties have implemented burn bans to prevent future starts as humans have caused most of the activity impacting the state. The seven-day forecast currently shows no help in terms of rainfall relief for ongoing drought there. Florida’s outlook is bleak, as chances for wildfires will remain heightened with hotter temperatures and low rainfall typical for spring. Thus, the fire danger for Floridians may last until late spring or early summer when the air becomes more humid and afternoon thunderstorms return.

Florida Wildfires

April 13th Wildfire Activity Map from Florida Forest Service

Sources:

https://www.predictiveservices.nifc.gov/outlooks/monthly_seasonal_outlook.pdf

http://wlrn.org/post/severe-drought-developing-florida

https://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/nfn.htm

https://weather.com/news/news/florida-wildfires-governor-impacts

 

5 Ways to Improve Your Insurance Agency’s Customer Service

What sets local insurance agencies above the rest? At first, it might be hard to tell, but customers quickly become aware of the benefits of a local agency and will migrate to receive superior customer service.

The difference? The local agency provides great customer service and communication and works on behalf of its policyholders. Implement these five tips to step up your agency’s customer service game.

Be Proactive About Customer Service

Excellent customer service means quickly following up with and responding to customers, looking for discounted rates and knowing your customers by name. To create long-lasting relationships with your customers, you should also help them establish a plan in the event of a claim. Be flexible and available for one-on-one meetings and send email recaps of conversations.

Excellent customer service also means alerting customers of natural disasters in their area.

Communicate Before Disaster Strikes

To be known as the local agency working on behalf of its customers, brokers must compete by proactively informing policyholders about the possibility of a disaster. When natural disaster strikes, people are concerned with their property, and more than likely you are insuring their houses, cars and boats. It is both in the agency and the customer’s favor to provide advanced and detailed notice of a natural disaster. Without this, an insurance agency will seem out of touch, and you might lose out to the local agency down the street.

Provide Risk Mitigation Tips

In anticipation of an event, or in natural disaster-prone areas, provide risk mitigation activities to your customers. Send checklists for every type of natural disaster applicable to the area — wildfire, hurricane, hail, earthquake, tornado, etc. You can even offer promotions or credits for completed activities! Try our free wildfire risk mitigation checklist, which you can send to customers to help them prepare before disaster strikes. Just add your company’s logo and contact information to the document we provided and share it with your clients. Now you’re already one step closer to providing excellent customer service.

Keep Clients Updated During a Natural Disaster

When a natural disaster occurs, it’s important to provide natural disaster intelligence on every aspect of the event. Send time-sensitive directives to your customers to keep them safe as the disaster begins. These types of instructions include:

  • Evacuation mandates and information
  • Nearby safe areas
  • Pertinent disaster information
  • Lodging options close by in case of evacuation
  • Evacuation Packing List

As the event progresses, share updates and location-specific information such as evacuation routes and shelters. Instruct your policyholders how and when to contact your agency. Also send policyholders specifics on what to do in the case of property loss.

Connect After a Claim

Once a claim is complete after an incident or natural disaster, be sure to connect with customers to see if they have any other questions or concerns. If their personal property was damaged in an event, the experience can be upsetting. Ask how they are doing, if their needs were met and if the claim was handled satisfactorily. Even if nothing was damaged after a natural disaster, checking in with clients is an important step in building positive relationships and improving your customer service.

Take your communication and customer service to the next level! Implement some of these ideas today to improve your customer service and be known as a local agency working hard for its customers.

Learn more about how RedZone can help your insurance agency meet your customers’ needs.

Sunshine Canyon Fire

Sunshine Fire Reinforces Importance of Fire Mitigation for RedZone’s CEO and Founder

Sunshine Canyon Fire

An early-season wildfire burned over 70 acres and evacuated 426 people in Sunshine Canyon near Boulder, Colo. on Sunday, March 19. The blaze reminded Sunshine Canyon resident Clark Woodward, who was evacuated, of the importance of year-round fire mitigation.

As the CEO and founder of RedZone and a volunteer with the Boulder County Incident Management Team (IMT), Woodward is no stranger to wildfire awareness.

“This wildfire affected me in three ways,” Woodward said. “First, because of my obligation as a homeowner; second, because I am a volunteer with the Boulder County Incident Management Team; and third, because this is why RedZone exists.”

In the fall of 2015, after living in Boulder for more than a decade, Woodward, along with his wife and two kids, moved back to the mountains — into Sunshine Canyon. Woodward lived in canyons before and was aware of both the risk of wildfires and the importance of fire mitigation. The first thing he did following the move was join Wildfire Partners, a mitigation program for homeowners in Boulder County, Colo. (which is managed by RedZone).

A blaze started early Sunday morning — which we now know to be human-caused — in Sunshine Canyon. Woodward and his wife had little information about the fire’s proximity.

“We stood on our porch watching the fire glow red behind a hill,” Woodward said. “We tried to see how quickly the fire was growing and how it was affected by the wind.”

Last-Minute Fire Mitigation

Around 2:30 a.m., the Sheriff’s Department came to evacuate Sunshine Canyon residents. While his wife and kids went to a hotel for safety, Woodward stayed back — he had fire mitigation to do.

“I was caught off guard and a bit embarrassed,” Woodward said. “We had all these half-complete fire mitigation projects.”

Woodward had completed many of the recommendations outlined by Wildfire Partners, but several winter projects weren’t finished. He and his wife planned to complete the projects before wildfire season started, normally around mid-May. However, the Sunshine Canyon blaze caught Woodward by surprise.

Fire mitigation — enclosing a porch

Fire mitigation project — enclosing a porch.

“With funding from Wildfire Partners, a contractor took out about 17 trees that were close to our home, but some of the wood was stacked up near the house,” Woodward said. “So, around 3 a.m., I quickly tossed all of the wood down into a gully.”

Woodward quickly completed his emergency fire mitigation checklist. He brought porch furniture inside, swept away needles, removed flammables from windows and closed them, and packed his family’s evacuation packing list, including important documents and photos. Woodward then joined his family at the hotel.

Sunshine Canyon Fire

View of the Sunshine Canyon Fire from the east side of Boulder, Colo.

Prioritizing Fire-Mitigation 

The fire grew through the morning, but never harmed any structures or caused injuries. The winds, with gusts up to 30 mph, blew the fire back on itself and it died by Monday, March 20, when the evacuation lifted. When the Woodwards returned home, they resolved to make fire mitigation tasks an utmost priority.

“Leaving the house with incomplete mitigation made me feel exposed and vulnerable,” Woodward said. “Especially because I hadn’t finished what I had been preaching to other people. From the perspective of Wildfire Partners, I should be a shining beacon of what wildfire mitigation looks like.”

Woodward’s story emphasizes the importance of fire mitigation, especially following the unseasonably warm and dry weather occurring on the Front Range of Colorado.

Wildfire Partners

Boulder County residents should contact Wildfire Partners. The organization sends a specialist to your home and creates a task list of fire mitigation requirements for your specific location. Wildfire Partners will give you a certification you can share with your insurance company once the tasks are complete. This certification indicates you have done everything possible to protect against the inevitable fire that may threaten your home.

Do you know if your home is at risk for wildfires? Download our free emergency fire mitigation checklist and evacuation packing list.

 

Insurance companies: Don’t leave your customers in the danger zone. Arm yourself with wildfire intelligence from RZ Alert.

RedZone Takes Part in Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Conference

Wildland Urban Interface Conference

RedZone was pleased to take part in the annual Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Conference held at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada, during the week of March 20, 2017. Each year this event, hosted by The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), offers invaluable hands-on training and interactive sessions designed to address the various challenges presented by wildland fire.

During this year’s WUI conference, RedZone had the honor of meeting fire representatives from Local, State, Federal and International agencies such as the Texas Forest Service, Australian Fire Ministry, USFS, Cal Fire and Cedar City Fire Department. An exhibit hall allowed vendors the opportunity to showcase new products and spend valuable time with prospective clients. Some vendors in attendance included Spiedr Spinkler, Simtable, Mtech, Boise Mobile Equipment, Supply Cache and National Firefighter.  

Wildfire Scores

RedZone’s revamped booth highlighted our new product wildfirescores.com. The product allows homeowners, insurance underwriters, fire officials and real estate professionals to see how frequently fires occur near a property and how severe a fire would be if one were to occur. We happily shared how Wildfirescores.com uses state-of-the-art software modeling to analyze local vegetation, weather and topography data in order to generate predictions of fire behavior.

RedZone Wildfire Scores Wildland Urban Interface Conference      

WUI Conference Keynote Speaches

Attendees were able to listen to keynote speeches on subjects including: communities regularly being built within the urban interface, firefighter health, leadership and general sessions focused on past events. 2016’s largest and one of its most destructive events was the Fort McMurray Fire from May in Alberta, Canada. The evacuation of 88,000 people with one escape route was quite the tale. RedZone also attended SDG&E’s presentation that highlighted their weather supercomputer. The computer is being used to predict wildfire using a sophisticated weather model that has proven effective for Southern California, especially for Santa Ana Wind Event Fires.

Every year it is exciting to see the WUI conference bring together fire experts from around the world.  We are happy to be a part of that collaborative effort to better protect communities from wildfire and we look forward to next year’s WUI conference.

Sunshine Fire Prompts Early Season Evacuations

Sunshine Fire

Unseasonably warm temperatures over the last few days have prompted an early start to Colorado’s fire season. The Sunshine fire started early Sunday morning (3/19) in the canyons west of Boulder, Colorado.  Gusty winds quickly pushed the fire through dry fuels causing officials at the Boulder Office of Emergency Management to issue mandatory evacuations for over 400 homes and pre-evacuation notices for another 836 residences.

Over 250 firefighters battled through the night and managed to stop the fire’s forward progress before any structures were damaged. As of Monday morning all evacuations had been lifted, but the area is still closed to non-residents as crews continue to extinguish hotspots. Authorities have yet to determine a cause of the fire, but say it is likely human caused. The area around Sunshine Canyon is popular for hikers, but is also a known location for transient camps.

Sunshine Fire Prompts Over 400 Evacuations

Sunshine Fire perimeter west of Boulder, Colorado.

Fire Outlook

Temperatures in Colorado have been unseasonably warm this spring, topping out at over 80 degrees over the weekend. Only 2015 saw temperatures reach 80 degrees earlier in the season. The foothills of the Front Range west of Boulder are currently under a Red Flag Warning, the 10th such warning in Colorado this month.

Fire management officials are concerned that the region is currently experiencing fire weather conditions more akin to summer, rather than spring.  Firefighters reported the conditions in the canyon on Sunday as “brutal”.  Hotshot firefighter Jason Morley said, “I’ve never seen it like this before.”  He added, “There is no snow at all up there. If you picked up grass, it would just crumble in your hands.”

Fire Facts

  • As of: March 20th, 2017
  • Location: Boulder, CO
  • Size: 74 acres
  • Containment: 50%
  • Fire Behavior: Rapid fire spread through dry fuels in steep rugged terrain.
  • Evacuations: Initial response: 400 homes mandatory evacuated and pre-evacuation notices for 836 homes.
  • News Article: weather.com, Boulder Daily Camera

Update

The fire was declared fully contained (100%) around 1600 HRS Monday March 20th, 2017.

Pfieffer Bridge in Big Sur is impassible

Crumbling Bridge Splits Big Sur Community

The Central Coast of California has been a hot spot for activity this year. The normally quaint and quiet Big Sur area is one of the wettest and most rugged in all of Coastal California. In the past year, the area has seen the region’s largest ever fire (Soberanes), and its highest winter rainfall accumulation in over a decade. Although the latest winter storms in February have pulled the area out of a six year long drought, it also has also–quite literally–split the Monterey County community in two.

Heavy Rains Damage Monterey County Roads and Bridges

Since the beginning of the year, the well-traveled section of Highway 1 through Big Sur has seen over 15 inches of rain, and its steep hillsides have endured numerous land and mud slides. Consequently, a 50-mile stretch of the highway has been closed to facilitate a major cleanup effort for the better part of a month. What’s worse is that the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge (in the Soberanes Fire area) has actually buckled due to the support columns moving from heavy runoff during early February’s rain events. Highway 1 has had a hard closure there, making the highway impassible since February 12th.

Pfieffer Bridge in Big Sur is impassible

The Pfeiffer Bridge in Big Sur has been impassible since February 12, 2017

As a result, tourists have had to deal with very long detours and local residents have been left stranded. The bridge’s support columns have shifted a significant distance from their operational location and have made the bridge unable to support the minimum mandated weight. Cal trans crews are working on plans to demolish the bridge into 3 manageable sections for removal and then begin the yearlong process of building a new structure. Crews have spent the weeks since the bridge damage discovery moving demolition equipment into place using helicopters.

On March 13th, the demolition process began with a 6,000 pound wrecking ball. After a few hours of work the crews realized that in the current configuration, the wrecking ball could not get enough downward force to break up the bridge. Parts were ordered to change the configuration and demolition personnel were set to try again on March 15th.

Impact to Big Sur Residents Could Last Months

While the road crews focus all their efforts on getting more sections of the Highway open, around 400 residents have been unable to drive from their homes, relying only on their supplies at home. Due to the lengthy closure, affected homeowners have run low on food and water. Some are resorting to travelling by foot to get hundreds of pounds of food while others are utilizing rations that have been flown into locations by helicopter.

A plan is underway to actually build a new hiking trail (1/2 mile foot path) that can be used by homeowners to get around the Pfeiffer Bridge closure. The trail is being constructed by California Conservation Crews and numerous volunteers, and will take some time to complete. The use of the trail will be limited to residents and can only be used during specific hours.

For emergency responders, the closure situation causes a different problem in terms accessing residences during future emergency situations. The new bridge will take months to construct and the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade is responsible for the safety of residents on both sides of the closure. As a solution, the brigade has actually split into two response areas but, at this point, cannot access all of their response territory. Currently, there is a contingency plan in place to use a Medivac helicopter to get people out that may need medical attention. The Big Sur Medical Center, which is also affected by the closure, has continued to receive medical resupply, including daily prescriptions that area residents need. The sense is that local authorities seem confident in the contingency plan in place. They have said numerous times that they will be able to provide emergency services to all remote areas.

infrared view of southern plains wildfires

Southern Plains See Record Wildfire Activity

Southern Plains Wildfires

This week, unprecedented fire activity swept through the southern plains. Multiple counties of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas saw critical fire weather conditions Sunday through Wednesday that fanned dozens of fires. Huge smoke plumes stretching for miles have been visible on NASA’s earth imagery for the area. As of March 9, seven people have died, five firefighters have been injured, thousands have been forced to flee their homes, heavy agricultural damage has been incurred, and more than a million acres have collectively burned.

The chaotic fire activity began this weekend when multiple starts forced residents from their homes in Central Kansas. The Highlands and Jupiter Hills fires in Hutchinson burned more than 6,000 acres between them. In the Texas Panhandle, three large fires broke out over the past three days, burning over 400,000 acres. The Perryton fire was the largest at 318,056 acres, rapidly spreading through grass and brush. Another Texas fire, the Lefors East Fire, ultimately claimed the lives of three of the seven reported deaths.

Roughly 60 miles to the north, three major fires burned along the Kansas and Oklahoma border, totaling another 800,000 between them. The three fires were merged into one, now called the ‘Northwest Oklahoma Complex Fire’. The fire is comprised of the Starbuck, Selman and the 283 fires. Authorities said the fires in Kansas and Oklahoma were actually the largest in the histories of both states.

On Wednesday (March 8), Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for 22 counties affected. These historic fires can be seen in the top of the NASA imagery below. RedZone has used the imagery and MODIS heat detections to estimate the fires’ perimeters, as none of the fires have had official perimeters released.

March 7th view of Southern Plains Wildfires

NASA Imagery shows fires spewing smoke across the Southern Plains on Tuesday, March 7th

 

Southern Plains Fire Outlook

Wednesday marked the end of the critical fire danger period for the Southern Plains. There will, however, continue to be RH minimums in the teens (but light winds) for at least one more day in counties of western Oklahoma and the northern Texas Panhandle. The area had been dealing with low RH minimums, poor overnight recoveries, dry fine fuels, and breezy winds. A change in weather conditions will arrive Thursday bringing relief in the form of higher RH and potential for wetting rains. Nevertheless, a type-1 Incident Management Team (Dueitt) is already in route to take over command of NW Oklahoma Complex. The weather break is expected through next week and should reduce the fire concern and help aid in control and containment.

Historically, the spring wildfire season in Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma can be very active. High fine dead fuel loading is already present and has been supporting large fire growth in Texas and Oklahoma since the start of the year. For the region, a longer than normal spring fire season is anticipated due to current drought, fuel conditions, and predicted warmer and drier than average weather. In turn, the regional fire managers caution that future weather systems could return this week’s fiery conditions to the region.

Regional Fire Statistics

  • As of: March 9th, 2017
  • Location: Southern Kansas, Panhandle of Texas, & Oklahoma
  • Size: 1,000,000+ acres
  • Number of Large Fires: 12
  • Fire Weather: Rapid fire spread through tall grass, agricultural areas, and brush.
  • Structures Threatened: 10,000+
  • Structures Destroyed: 13 Residences, 23 outbuildings
  • Evacuations: Are in place
  • News Article: CBS News

Sources

CBS News, NASA, NBC News, wideopencountry.com, Southern GACC

Trail Fire in Miami-Dade Causes Smokey Start to the Week

The Trail Fire started Sunday afternoon, March 5th, in West Miami-Dade County, FL, and quickly blanketed the surrounding area with heavy smoke.  The fire prompted the closure of Southwest 8th Street between Southwest 137th Avenue and Krome Avenue due to lack of visibility in the area. As of Sunday night, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue reported that the road was back open.

Extra units remain on scene due to the potential for strong and gusty winds coupled with dropping humidity in the area. As of Monday morning, March 6th, the fire had grown to 1,065 acres with 50% containment reported. The Florida Fire Service feels confident they are gaining the upper hand on the Trail Fire. At this time, the cause of the fire remains unknown.

Trail Fire Location west of Miami-Dade, FL.

Trail Fire Location west of Miami-Dade, FL.

Trail Fire Area Weather Outlook

Much of Southern Florida is presently under a Red Flag Warning through midnight EST Monday, March 6th. Over the next few days, the area will experience strong winds out of the east with gusts over 30 mph at times. Also, local relative humidity levels will steadily increase through the end of the week, with 20-40% chances of rain showers.

For current weather at the fire’s location, please visit Weather Underground.

Read Further

This is an ongoing incident. Please visit the news links below for further details and the most up to date information regarding this fire.  RedZone will continue to update this post if relevant information becomes available.

Rain fuels fire

Does Heavy Rain Actually Fuel Wildfires?

It may seem contradictory, but the recent drought-quenching rains seen across much of the west may actually lead to a higher potential for wildfires.  Thus far, 2017 has brought severe winter storms and record rainfall. These drenching rains have been a welcome respite to many areas suffering from multi-year drought conditions.  The excess water, however, has also brought flooding, landslides and the potential for increased wildfire risk.

Fine Fuel Growth

In areas that have experienced prolonged drought conditions or recent wildfires, rains often lead to an explosive growth of new vegetation.  Much of this vegetation growth is in the form of native and non-native grasses. Moist fuels are an ideal fire retardant, but these grasses are very susceptible to drying out after just a short period of low humidity and high temperatures. Once dried, these “fine fuels” are easy to ignite. Something as small as an errant cigarette butt or a spark from a vehicle tail pipe is a sufficient catalyst to spark a wildfire. Once active, these wildfires can move rapidly and are prone to “spotting”. Spotting occurs when embers are blown to nearby fuels and cause multiple ignitions, making the wildfire difficult to contain.

Rain fuels fire

Rapidly Spreading Fire in Fine Fuels.

Preparation

The ease with which these fine fuels can quickly dry and lead to hazardous conditions is one of the main factors fire managers consider when scheduling prescribed burns. Firefighters use prescribed burns to reduce the build up of fine fuels, thus decreasing the risk for wildfires in the future. Prescribed burns can also be used to establish fire breaks so that a small fire doesn’t become unmanageable. Individual homeowners can help with fire mitigation efforts by mowing grasses around their property and creating a defensible space.

Weather Outlook

Few meteorologists predicted the unprecedented rainfall that has impacted the majority of the United States so far this year. The recent storms have saturated fuels, likely delaying the onset of fire season. The threat, however, will not be all together eliminated. Long range weather predictions are vague at best. The Old Farmer’s Almanac suggests that the majority of the United States should see a hotter, but wetter than normal summer. The National Interagency Fire Center is also somewhat optimistic, predicting a delay of fire season until at least June. It remains to be seen if the recent storms will be enough to help combat the increasingly hot summers and severity of recent wildfires.

Sources

https://www.firescience.gov/projects/05-2-1-13/project/05-2-1-13_05-2-1-13_JFSP_Final_Report_05-2-1-13.pdf

https://www.fs.fed.us/fire/management/rx.html

http://hppr.org/post/last-years-rains-bring-increased-fire-risk-2017

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/forestry_wildlife/fire/fuels_effect.htm

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/heavy-spring-rain-has-boosted-fuel-loads-ahead-of-fire-season-20161023-gs8jvy.html

Milne fire

Milne Fire Prompts Evacuations Near Colorado Springs

Milne Fire Summary

The Milne Fire began Monday (2/27) afternoon in the Hanover area southeast of Colorado Springs, and burned over 7,000 acres in roughly 2 hours.  The initial report listed the originating location near Milne & Squirrel Creek Roads (southern tip of estimated fire perimeter below).  Sustained winds over 20 mph were observed along with relative humidity levels under 20%. The gusty winds have blown out of the southwest, fanning the fire to the north and east.  Given the rapid spread of the fire, it is not surprising that the fire area had been under Red Flag Warning conditions most of the day.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s office promptly evacuated over 600 residences in the fire area, and sent local school kids home early. The latest update from Hanover Fire Chief, Carl Tatum, stated that the fire had peaked at 7,000 acres by 5pm MST with an unknown number of structures involved. RedZone’s estimated perimeter in the map below reflects the nearly 7,000 reported acres.

Milne Fire in Hanover, CO

Milne Fire shown Southeast of Colorado Springs on RedZone’s Incident Dashboard

Milne Fire Outlook

Several local fire departments had taken over unified command of the fire as of Monday evening. Since the Milne Fire area is flat and mostly grassy, mop up and containment efforts shouldn’t be too difficult, and it’s likely firefighters caught the active fire front within hours. Flare-ups and spotting are possible with resources working to knock these down and gain containment on the bulk of the fire area. Crews continued to fight the blaze until around 9pm MST Monday while monitoring overnight.

Monday’s gusty winds and low RH are set to both improve by Tuesday, with the majority of the extreme fire threat moving further south and east into New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The National Weather Service is forecasting extreme fire conditions for a 32,000 square mile area in the Southwest, well south and east of the Milne Fire Location. The area includes Lubbock and Levelland, TX, as well as Hobbs, Artesia, Carlsbad and Hobbs, NM.

Milne Fire Facts

  • As of: February 27th, 2017
  • Location: Hanover, CO
  • Size: 7,000 acres
  • Containment: unknown
  • Obs. Fire Behavior: Rapid fire spread through tall grass.
  • Structures Threatened: 602 (reported)
  • Structures Destroyed: unknown/none reported
  • Evacuations: Have been lifted as of 6:45pm MST
  • News Article: The Gazette

Sources: The Gazette, KKTV11News, El Paso County Sheriff’s, Hanover Fire

UPDATE (2/28 8:30PST)

Late last night (2/27), it was reported that the Milne Fire actually burned 5,000 acres, or 3,275 acres if unburned fuel within the fire perimeter isn’t included. This number was reduced from its original estimate of 7,000 acres after aerial mapping was conducted of the fire yesterday evening.