The High Park fire in the mountains west of Fort Collins, Colorado, was caused by a lightning strike and was first detected on the morning of June 9, 2012. The fire was declared 100 percent contained on June 30, after burning 87,284 acres. Currently the fire is ranked as the third largest fire in Colorado history by area burned. Only the Hayman Fire of 2002 (138,114 acres) and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013 (11o,405 acres) surpass the High Park fire in area burned. The High Park fire destroyed at least 259 homes and became the most destructive fire in Colorado history in terms of the number of houses burned, only to be surpassed about a week later by the Waldo Canyon Fire.
Beginning in November 2012, Anderson Consulting Engineers (ACE) participated in rapid response efforts as part of the High Park Fire Area Flood Mitigation Project. ACE consulted with Larimer County and CWCB staff to identify post-wildfire needs in areas affected by the fire, and developed a scope of work to determine post-wildfire flood hazards and evaluate flood mitigation alternatives for protecting public infrastructure and homes from loss or damage.
Resulting projects from this consultation included new culvert crossings and existing culvert upgrades, channel restoration and stabilization, implementation of grade control measures, construction of a sediment fore bay, erosion countermeasures and site re-vegetation. The projects depicted above were located along Mill Creek and Rist Canyon/Empire Gulch west of Fort Collins, CO.