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Evacuees Of Spring Fire Return To Find Some Property Intact, Others Destroyed

By Douglas Hoffaker

COSTILLA COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- People evacuated from the Spring Fire burning in Southern Colorado are returning home to find out how destructive the 107,967 acre wildfire has been.

Spring Fire
(credit: CBS)

Authorities in Costilla County say the total number of homes destroyed in that county is 148, most of them in the heavily-damaged Forbes Park subdivision. How many homes have been destroyed by the fire in Huerfano County is unknown.

spring Jesper Joergensen
Jesper Joergensen (credit: CBS)

Jesper Joergensen, from Denmark, was arrested on suspicion of arson for the fire that started June 27. He reportedly told investigators he was cooking over a fire pit and believed the fire was out.

Businesses along La Veta Pass are starting to encourage travelers to come their way again. The Bear's Den at Cuchara reported Monday that it was open again.

The owners of the Bear's Den took a picture when the flames were bearing down, not knowing if their business would make it.

Bear's Den Cuchara raging fire pic copy
(credit: The Bear's Den at Cuchara)

Fifteen miles up the road, closer to La Veta, the news wasn't as good for the Sulphur Springs Guest Ranch. The operators say most of the ranch was destroyed, including their dance hall, bathhouse and most of the cabins. They say they appreciate the firefighters who "fought this monster trying to protect our property for days" and their "valiant effort."

Most of the evacuations on the Spring Fire have now been lifted, except for Forbes Park, which has lost much of its utilities.

The fire is is 77 percent contained. The biggest concern now is the northwest side of the fire, which is furthest from any populated area.

LINK: Spring Fire InciWeb Page

Wildfire Resources

- Visit's Colorado Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile), the deadliest (Storm King) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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