High Park Fire evacuees get mixed news
For evacuees of the High Park Fire, you could call it a day of good news, bad news or no news.
“I am stoked. I’m really stoked about going home. I need that bad,” says evacuee Sue Rua, waving a yellow piece of paper that’s her ticket to get past street blockades.
“We’re going home! Whooo!” screams evacuee Loretta Kriete, of Bellvue.
Fire officials let residents of Shoreline Dr. and Bellvue return home Wednesday, but most residents didn’t get any news.
“What they said is Whale Rock Road is the worst hit and we cannot confirm anything right now and have no further information for you. So we left,” says evacuee Lori Armstrong.
Fire officials let residents of just seven neighborhoods know what has happened to their home, including: Pine Acres, Stratton Park, Mill Canyon, Soldier Canyon, Lower Poudre Canyon, Red Stone Canyon and Bellvue.
“We’re still waiting to find out,” says evacuee Chris Hardy.
His home is near Poudre Park, an area wracked with homes damaged or destroyed.
“Part of the challenge is it’s still an active burn area, so they could not do an effective assessment. And by the time they got down here and back up, it could be gone,” says Hardy.
“There are 10, 11 of us. We know all of our houses are gone. All we have is each other, to hold onto,” says evacuee Mandy Cipolat.
She lives in Rist Canyon and came to get official word so she can start the insurance process, but she’ll also have to wait.
“I have seen my home. I know what it looks like through a scope. I want to see it on a piece of paper. That it’s gone,” she says.
“They said they won’t notify everybody else until Friday. That’s an awful long wait,” says evacuee Danny Barnhart.
But he already knows his home of seven years in the Davis Ranch neighborhood is just a pile of ash.
“We cried a lot yesterday,” he says of he and his wife.
There was no confirmation for Ian Simplenski, who took a picture of his house just before flames devoured it.
“I’m glad I’m out. I’m glad I’m safe,” he says. He plans to rebuild.
For others, the wait is starting to take its toll.
“I’m just lost. I feel lost. I just wish they would have had something,” says Armstrong.
On Thursday, officials will consider letting evacuees of the Bonner Peak and Bonner Springs Ranch area return home.
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