DENVER (KDVR) — Boulder County’s CalWood Fire has already destroyed or damaged at least $40 million in residential, historic or undeveloped property, gobbling up the well-heeled mountain homes in the foothills where it has spread.
Reports from Boulder County authorities claim the CalWood fire has destroyed or damaged 26 properties total. Some were undeveloped vacant properties, some were cabin properties that were not primary residences, but the majority were fully developed residences. Of these, 20 are deemed a total loss.
According to real estate value website Zillow, the 26 homes and properties damaged or destroyed by the CalWood fire have a collective value of $36,916,557.
Boulder County’s relative affluence and the generally high values of hillside homes make the CalWood fire especially damaging considering its smaller burn size than large fires like the record-setting Cameron Peak Fire. Of the CalWood properties destroyed, they held an average value of $1.7 million.
The cost means another record-setting fire for Colorado’s 2020 burn season.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, this qualifies the CalWood fire as a “large-loss fire” – that is, a fire resulting in the loss of more than $10 million.
It also qualifies the CalWood blaze as one of the state’s top five costliest fires since 2003.
The National Fire Protection Association keeps yearly records of every national large loss fire going back to 2003. The most recent available report details 2018.
Some wildland fires may burn many acres but cost less in overall damages since they often contain no valuable properties.
On the other hand, many wildland fires cause billions of dollars of damage, particularly when they abut populated areas. Between 2003 and 2018, the country experienced 51 large loss wildland fires, the overwhelming majority of which occurred in California. In 2004 and 2005 the country had no large loss wildland fires.
The CalWood Fire is the fifth costliest fire in Colorado since 2003, joining ranks with fires such as the Waldo Canyon Fire, Black Forest Fire, Four Mile Canyon Fire and High Park Fire.