High Park fire update: Mishawaka Amphitheatre reopening symbol of blaze's defeat

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Big photos below.
Update: The High Park fire near Fort Collins is 100 percent contained, and while it's not officially dead yet, the blaze is no longer the threat it was to life, limb and property.

A symbol of its de facto defeat? The reopening tomorrow of the Mishawaka Amphitheatre, a beloved landmark that managed to survive the ordeal intact.

The Mishawaka Facebook page has been a go-to destination for people wanting to get fire updates, as well as for those concerned about the venerable venue. During the three weeks or so during which the conflagration had its way, the Mish was used as a staging area for crews fighting it, as seen in the photo below:

mishawaka fire crews staging at the mish.jpg
Many of the firefighters were local, so it's no surprise they took defending the amphitheatre very personally. On June 29, Mish owner Dani Grant was able to return to her pride and joy for the first time in seventeen days, and upon her arrival, she found the following letter:

mishawaka letter.jpg
"My heart bursts with gratitude," she wrote in a post accompanying the photo.

That same day, the Mish shared the following pic honoring crew members who fought so hard to ensure that the building would rock again.

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That was followed by a shot of flowers blooming outside the building -- an indication of returning life if ever there was one:

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The encore? Cut to yesterday, when Matt Hoeven, Grant's husband, posted the following:
Mishawaka will reopen for business on July 4 at 10:00 am. Normal summer hours resume Wednesday with the restaurant offering lunch and dinner every day in addition to breakfast on weekends. Mishawaka's concert schedule will resume with a Keller Williams concert on Friday July 13, followed by JJ Grey & Mofro on July 14, The Samples on the 15th and all scheduled concert events for the balance of the season.
At last, some good news. Look below for our previous coverage.

Update, 6:38 a.m. July 2: This weekend brought positive developments regarding the ultra-destructive Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs, as well as the news that so many residents of Fort Collins and nearby areas have anticipated -- and which experts recently thought might not take place for weeks: 100 percent containment of the High Park fire.

Which means it's time to take stock, and count the losses.

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Linda Steadman.
The greatest loss was the death of Linda Steadman, age 62, who perished in her beloved cabin in the rugged area where the fire got its start. That's followed in short order by the number of homes destroyed: 259 by the current (and likely final) estimate.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Office puts the acreage consumed at a jaw-slackening 87,284. And while the LCSO's latest release again stresses the difference between containment and control (the latter term means the fire is entirely out), concern about re-ignition has lessened to the degree that only 150 personnel remain on the scene -- less than a tenth of the force at its largest. Sheriff's reps point out that this group, which will be based on CSU's Pingree Park campus, will be responsible for patrolling the fire perimeter, mopping up hot spots near the fire's perimeter, conducting fire-line rehabilitation and installing water bars to help prevent erosion -- one of many serious potential after-effects that will be felt for months, if not years, to come.

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Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service
All evacuations were lifted on Saturday, June 30, and while the meter hasn't stopped running on the costs, the present calculation of $38.4 million is likely to be close to the final sum. But this digit is no doubt low, since the losses in business productivity and more caused by the disruption are likely impossible to calculate.

As of this writing, the fire continues to smolder, and should it spread outside the perimeter, the U.S. Forest Service's InciWeb page acknowledges that "record low live fuel moistures with high temperatures and low relative humidity will promote rapid fire growth." But experts still on the scene will do their damnedest to make sure that doesn't happen -- and their damnedest has been mighty good thus far, despite the horrific losses that will be forever associated with the High Park fire.

Look below to see the latest photos from the U.S. Forest Service, followed by much, but not all, of our previous coverage. Click here to read about the High Park fire from the beginning.

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Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service

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Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service

4 high park fire july 2.jpg
Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service
Page down to see more of our High Park fire coverage.

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