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Nederland Mayor On Cold Springs Fire: ‘We Come Together’

Kate Hand
Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larsen

Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larsen said the residents of his town are on edge as the Cold Springs fire blazed on for a third day. Five homes in the area have been destroyed and nearly 2,000 people have been evacuated. Larsen told KUNC that the town had worried about the possibility of a fire this summer -- and has been planning for the worst. Two men were arrested and charged with fourth-degree arson for improperly extinguishing a campfire on Saturday, July 9. Investigators say the campfire triggered the blaze northeast of the town. 

“We’ve been preparing for this, we have so many people who enjoy the outdoors, that’s why we live [in Nederland] we just want people to enjoy it responsibly.”

Read more: The Latest Updates On Cold Springs Fire Burning Near Boulder

Interview Highlights

Larsen’s Reaction To Fire Being Caused By A Campfire

“We’ve all come across smoldering camp fires in the forest and put them out. Now to see the effect of one... It’s not going to change our worry, it just gives us a little more impetus. We’ll have to continue to work with state, local and county officials and hopefully the federal forest service to do a better job of patrolling the forests.”

On How Nederland Residents Responded To Evacuees

“We set up an evacuation center in the high school but most of them are staying in people’s homes...we’ve had very few people who have had to use the evacuation center. People are opening their doors and their spare rooms to take people in, dogs, cats we have local pastures opened up for the alpacas, the horses the llamas… I’ve talked to some people who say ‘yea I have five chickens staying at my house now’ the town of Nederland when things like this happen immediately opens it’s doors and takes in the affected people, and supports one another.”

On Lessons Learned From Previous Fires

“We’ve been pushing the idea of defensible space to try to prepare for this and you can see the effect in the burn area. You see homes that are untouched because they did a very good job with mitigation and preparation.”

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