Gov. John Hickenlooper today issued an emergency disaster declaration for the Indian Gulch Fire in Jefferson County, authorizing $1.5 million in state funding to help pay firefighting costs. The executive order also directs the state to seek federal funds if needed to fight the tenacious wind-blown wildfire near Golden.
A warm, dry winter and early spring has left Colorado’s Front Range tinder-dry during what is typically one of the wettest months of the year. The Indian Gulch Fire, which has spread to 1,500 acres, has not caused any deaths or injuries, nor has it burned down any homes.
But it’s currently threatening local businesses and 280 homes and is reminiscent of last fall’s very active fire season that led to the mostly costly fire in state history in terms of property damage – Boulder’s Four Mile Canyon Fire. Crews are scrambling to head off a repeat of that disaster.
“We are making all resources available to fight this fire near Golden,” Hickenlooper said in a release. “The very dry and gusty conditions are complicating firefighting efforts to control the blaze. These additional resources will help to reduce the loss of life and property.”
At total of 37 firefighting agencies, including the Colorado State Forest Service, the U.S. Forest Service and local emergency teams, are battling the blaze, including 290 firefighters, 30 engines, two air tankers and three helicopters.