Here’s What $110 Million in Fire Damage Looks Like | Smart News | Smithsonian
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Here’s What $110 Million in Fire Damage Looks Like

The Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado was the most destructive in the state's history.

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More than 18,000 acres burned in Waldo Canyon. Photo: NASA

The Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado was the most destructive in the state’s history.

In 12 days, it t burned 18,247 acres.

It ate through 346 homes, doing $110 million in damage.

On July 4, a NASA satellite took the image above. The red is vegetation, captured with visible and infrared light. The brightest red is unburned forest. The brown is the land that the fire burned.

The Denver Post reports:

The list of lost homes also reveals the vicissitudes of a wildfire. On some neighborhood streets, only one house was lost. On a stretch of Majestic Drive, 74 consecutive houses burned.

“I keep hearing words like ‘epic,’ ‘historic,’ ‘unprecedented.’ I don’t think that’s an exaggeration,” said Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. “2012 is the year everyone’s going to remember.”

More from Smithsonian.com:

Climate Change Means More Wildfires in the West

Devastating Colorado Wildfires Most Recent in Decades-Long Surge

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About Sarah Laskow
Sarah Laskow

Sarah Laskow is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor of Smart News. Her work has appeared in print and online for Grist, GOODSalon, The American Prospect, Newsweek, New York among other publications.

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