Heartstrong Fire Contained
The Heartstrong Fire in Yuma County was contained on Monday with the mandatory evacuation order lifted over the entire burn area. In total the fire burned more than 24,000 acres of prairie and several structures. Over the 38 square mile burn area, only two homes were a total loss. Several others suffered light damage, but many other outbuildings, corrals, pens and fences were destroyed. There has also been extensive damage to motorized equipment and to crops and topsoil.
Much of the burn area can no longer be identified from the air. Winds have blown away soot and char, leaving only blowing sand where prairie grass once grew.
Yuma Sherriff Chad Day confirmed that there were nine volunteer fire departments that had actively fought the fire, and four on standby that ended up fighting two other fires in other areas in the county at the same time. Sheriff Day also mentioned that there were countless farmers, neighbors, and friends who put themselves in harms way to help the residents in the fire’s path. Two firefighters were hospitalized in Greeley with severe burns but are expected to make a full recovery.