Jul 12, 2012 7:01 PM by Andy Koen
Already the most destructive wildfire in state history, the full cost of the Waldo Canyon Fire will take many months to calculate. However, just counting the 346 homes that were lost, economist Fred Crowley says this fire is already more pricey than the Hayman fire.
"Without working at it hard we can see this thing going immediately, very quickly over $200 million in losses already and we're counting," Crowley said.
One sector that's still reeling is tourism. In May, tax collections were only slightly higher and having to reschedule major events like the Pikes Peak Hill Climb only aggravates the issue.
"There are huge, huge consequences to this, and a couple hundred dollars per family per day when they're in town, times the number of families that are not visiting us, you can see this rolling into millions of dollars of losses as well."
Other costs yet to be tallied are drops in property values.
"The property taxes will go down and that's going to affect every school district, every taxing district from roads, sewers, city, county everyone's going to be affected by that, times 350 homes that no longer exist," Crowley said.
There are some silver linings. Apartments and rental properties for example are absorbing a new population. Furniture and other household necessities are selling quickly. When reconstruction finally begins, a struggling home construction sector will see a bump.
"There are some good things but they don't seem to weigh nearly as well as the bad weighs against the community right now."
Some of the highest demand is for rental properties near the Mountain Shadows neighborhood as families look to keep their kids in their same schools this fall.
The United Way is still accepting donations to the Waldo Canyon Fire Victim Assistance Fund.