Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association

Rae Ellen Bichell / Mountain West News Bureau

A few months ago, John Parker retired and moved into a salmon-colored log house on a mountain called Tungsten in unincorporated Boulder County.

"Just to get a little piece of heaven, get away from the madding crowd," he says.

Inside, a wood-fired stove fills the house with heat and a low hum. Outside, the snow feels like thick, gritty icing. The wind barrels up a slope, gathering snow into a glittery stream. When the glitter stream meets the house, it curves around and hugs it, piling up around the back steps. It does not feel like the time to think about wildfires. But if that same wind was carrying embers instead of snow, those would follow the same path and instead of glittering, that pile by the back door would be glowing.

Sgt. Jonathan C. Thibault / 4th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division

3,630 auto and insurance claims have been filed since the June wildfire according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. Executive Director Carole Walker expects that number will grow.