In 2012, wildfires cost more than $1 Billion to fight and burned 9.1 million acres across the U.S., the third highest total ever recorded. As a deepening drought gripped the central and western U.S., Colorado experienced the most destructive wildfires in its recorded history. Residents of Larimer County, about 70 miles north of Denver, experienced a long, dry spring and summer and months of choking smoke that resulted from over a dozen wildfires. Most of the fires were confined to less than 200 acres, but two — High Park and Hewlett — killed one person, burned over 95,000 acres and destroyed 259 homes.

The collection of the images shot by North Forty News staff from the June 9 High Park Fire, the June 4 Stuart Hole wildfire and the May 14 Hewlett Gulch Fire. This gallery is best viewed at full screen by clicking the full screen icon in the lower right corner of the gallery player. Use the plus sign “+” to advance the images. View the cutline by placing your cursor over the image.

This gallery was published Oct. 9, 2012.