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Four Mile Fire Recovery Slow

Photo by Kirk Siegler
Four Mile Canyon Fire victim Jack Thompson has begun rebuilding his shop and expects to start rebuilding his home in September in Sugarloaf.

With the one year anniversary of the costliest wildfire in Colorado history approaching, Boulder County officials say only two of the 169 homes destroyed in last September’s Four Mile Canyon blaze have been rebuilt.  Boulder County has issued 39 building permits to victims of last September’s Four Mile Canyon fire.  Almost a year since the inferno came through the canyons west of town some landowners are still wrangling with insurance claims.


"This takes a lot of energy to take this kind of project on," said Gary Sanfacon, Boulder County's Four Mile Fire recovery coordinator.  "Not only are you trying to raise a family perhaps, or have a job, 'this is a full-time job' is what I’ve heard over and over again working through the insurance claims process."

Sanfacon says about 60%of the people whose homes were lost or damaged were "underinsured," meaning they don’t have enough money to rebuild what they had before.

"That has set some people back, rethinking how they’re going to move forward," he said. 

Editor's note:  KUNC and Colorado Public Television will air a special report marking the one-year anniversary of the Four Mile Canyon Fire at the beginning of September.  More information to follow. 

Kirk Siegler reports for NPR, based out of NPR West in California.
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