2020 Fire Report

Last year’s fire season was particularly impactful for Colorado’s museums and historic sites.  Major fires affecting our members were the Pine Gulch Fire, Grizzly Creek Fire, East Troublesome Fire, Cameron Peak Fire, William Fork Fire, and Cal-Wood Fire.  The three largest fires in Colorado history are included here.  Institutions in the fire zones include:


Grizzly Creek Fire

Glenwood Historical Society

Frontier Museum

Doc Holiday Collection

Williams Fork/East Troublesome

Grand County Historical Association

Cozens Ranch Museum – Fraser

Emily Warner Field Aviation Museum

Heritage Park

Pioneer Village Museum – Hot Sulphur Springs

Kauffman House Museum

Grand Lake Cemetery


East Troublesome/Cameron Peak

YMCA of the Rockies Museum – Winter Park

YMCA of the Rockies Museum – Estes Park

Estes Park Museum

CSU Mountain Campus Museum

Shambhala Mountain Center


Lyons Redstone Museum


In January a Major Disaster Declaration (Wildfire) was approved for the State of Colorado.  If your site was affected, regardless of damage, funding has been allocated to recover costs from evacuation, for conservation, and other costs related to the fires.  

Eligible costs under the Public Assistance Program can be for:

  • Uninsured damage costs – e.g., costs not covered by insurance, including items that were underinsured and insurance deductible costs
  • Debris removal – e.g., removal of demolition debris and disposal costs
  • Emergency protective measures – e.g., removal or relocation of collections to prevent damage or loss (see additional info below)
  • Permanent work – to repair physical damages to facilities and/or collections/records (see additional info below)

Emergency work comprises debris removal and emergency protective measures.

Emergency protective measures may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Temporary emergency repair (blue roofs and other work) or stabilization of an eligible facility if it eliminates or lessens an immediate threat
  • Wet vacuuming, damp wiping, or vacuuming with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) equipment of the interior space 
  • Removal of contaminated gypsum board, plaster (or similar wall finishes), carpet or floor finishes, and ceilings or permanent light fixtures
  • Cleaning of contaminated heating and ventilation (including ductwork), plumbing, and air conditioning systems or other mechanical equipment
  • Removal or relocation of collections to prevent damage or loss

Under permanent work, the following eligible measures may include, but are not limited to:

  • Repair or replacement of materials, equipment, and exhibition furnishings associated with the storage, display, preservation, or exhibition of collections and individual objects 
  • Treatment of “special library collections,” but not replacement of rare books, manuscripts, and other fragile materials
  • Stabilization – work necessary to return items to a condition in which they can function in the same capacity as they did prior to the disaster
  • Reasonable costs associated with the development of the treatment plan for the collection or individual object
  • Costs associated with restoring an item to pre-disaster (but not original) condition 

If you have been affected by the fires please feel free to contact me for resources.  Emergencies and planning will be a part of this year’s CWAM annual meeting. Be sure to find us there!