NewsCovering Colorado


Black Forest community remembers wildfire devastation ten years later

Somber celebration of forest and community regrowth
Posted at 7:12 PM, Jun 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-11 00:43:50-04

BLACK FOREST, Colo.— The Black Forest Wildfire was one of the biggest in state history. The 2013 wildfire took two lives and burned down more than 500 homes.

The Black Forest Community Club held a remembrance ceremony on Saturday, ten years later.

The wildfire started on June 11th. In its 9-day course, it burned more than 14,000 acres of land.

"I feel like we came a long way," said the Black Forest Community Club VP Kelly Marchbank. "We still have a lot of work to do and there's still a lot of families in the forest that need help."

I spoke with a couple who moved to the Black Forest in 1978. Their home and everything in it burned down.

"We lost a lot of things, a lot of things but it's just things, we were okay," said Vaneal Burgess.

It took a few years, but they rebuilt their home to stay in a community they know and love.

"It was a tragic experience but it was also a very growing and learning experience too," said Don Burgess.

Firefighters and state forestry service reps set up info booths on how to better protect trees and houses in the area.

"[The forest] was so neat and it can be that way again," said Marchbank.

People could take home a tree sapling to plant.

Although a somber ceremony, people celebrated how much the forest and community have grown since.

Congressman Doug Lamborn was the keynote speaker. He said half of Coloradans live in wildfire-prone areas and will continue to fight for federal funding.


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