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Man evacuated in High Park Fire says 'Thank you' to fire responders

Aerial view of High Park Fire
Posted at 9:16 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 00:14:32-04

TELLER COUNTY — People who evacuated during the High Park Fire in Teller County are allowed back in their homes after nearly a week away.

Adam Purtscher said hearing the news that evacuations were being lifted at 10:00 am on Wednesday was "amazing".

"Even though I left a window open, it wasn't too smokey inside, so I would call that a huge win."

After work on May 12, Purtscher was not allowed to return home to gather items or even pick up his two huskies due to the flames.

He was eventually reunited with his dogs, and relieved to see none of his home was damaged when he got back.

"I think that's just that they did an awesome job, you know, dividing resources, having the people fight the fire, but then also the people here protecting where we live which is huge."

Over 400 local, state, and national personnel joined forces over the course of the fire to keep the community safe.

No structures burned in the fire, which was 87% contained as of Wednesday night.

"As far as an operation this size, it's remarkable. It's a truly blessed thing," said Commander Lad Sullivan with the Teller County Sheriff's Office.

First responders are expecting to battle red flag conditions again on Thursday, but are hoping for snow over the weekend.

The Sheriff's Office wants to remind people that crews will remain in the area while battling hot spots and ask drivers to be cautious.

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