A sign warning of falling trees and rocks prefaces the drive north on Colorado Highway 125.
At points, both sides of the road are black. Gnarled, dark branches are all that remain of some bushes, while the trunks of still standing trees bare their black scars.
The burn pattern hasleft the area shrouded in dark fields, except around some properties lining the road. The surrounding damage is more than enough to make someone wonder how crews managed to save it.
Unhinged gates line many of the side roads, and lingering dangers left over from the East Troublesome Fire remain all along Highway 125 in Grand County.
The once scenic drive feels heavy with a sense of loss. When the East Troublesome Fire crossed Highway 125 on Oct. 21, the fire was under 20,000 acres. Less than 24 hours later, it exploded to more than six times that size, quickly becoming the second largest wildfire in state history.
The sheriff’s office received clearance Thursday to reopen areas north of mile marker 5.3 to mile marker 20 on Colorado 125, both east and west of the highway, after blocking the roads nearly three weeks ago with the fire racing across the county.
While the highway has opened to through traffic and property owners, people should be aware of the hazards that still exist in the area, including falling trees around homes, in streets and roadways and anytime someone is outdoors in the fire-affected areas.
Multiple power line workers could be seen working the singed power poles along Colorado 125 on Friday.
“Utilities continue to be a challenge in the area,” sheriff’s office added. “If you re-enter at this time, you may not have all utility services to your property. Please contact your utility companies directly for specific needs or additional concerns. You may also experience intermittent service as utility companies continue to conduct work.”
Emergency services are available in the area. People may continue to see smoke and fire in some places, and they should call 911 if they see fire causing any potential danger to a structure.
The Disaster Assistance Center moved to a virtual platform on Thursday and will continue to provide services to the community for behavioral health, insurance and general information.
This content was originally published here.