Colorado's Black Forest fire left $85 million in damage

July 10, 2013 at 10:53 AM
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COLORADO SPRINGS, July 10 (UPI) -- The Black Forest fire that blackened the central Colorado county of El Paso last month caused more than $85 million in damage, the county tax assessor says.

Assessor Mark Lowderman placed the final count of destroyed homes at 486, with 37 damaged, The Denver Post reported Wednesday.

The fire, which began June 11, killed two people and burned more than 14,000 acres.

In the first of four parts of his office's assessment of losses from the fire, Lowderman said $84,44,052 in damage was done to homes. His staff will next determine monetary losses to outbuildings, commercial buildings and trees.

A treeless lot sells for about 30 percent less than one with undamaged trees, and a lot with damaged trees is worth 15 percent less, the assessor said.

His office arrived at the valuations after visiting 2,400 parcels.

Lowderman said the assessor's office would have to revisit the Black Forest area in a year to determine which damaged trees had survived.

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