At the same part of the river, search crews on Sunday found the body of another man, who was identified as David Brown, 61, of San Antonio. Search crews also recovered the body of a woman last week, after the flood hit the area. She was identified as Patricia Brown, 59, of Madison, Wis., by the county coroner’s office, which determined she had drowned.
One woman remains missing. The sheriff’s office said on Sunday that “with evident and planned areas well searched, search teams will not be fielded again unless new information presents a need.” An unoccupied vehicle was recovered from the river on Thursday.
Flooding on July 20 had led to a mudslide near Black Hollow Road in the Poudre Canyon, which was barraged by a “large amount of debris,” the sheriff’s office said. Six homes and one detached garage were destroyed. Another home was damaged, the authorities said.
As 85 large fires continue to burn across the country, mostly in the West, where the Dixie Fire had burned nearly 200,000 acres in northern California as of Monday evening, the deadly flooding in Colorado offers a stark reminder of the toll that wildfires can take on communities long after the flames have been put out.
The flooding in Colorado last week occurred in the burn scar of the Cameron Peak Fire, which ravaged wide swaths of northern Colorado last summer. The fire was reported in August 2020, and it burned through parts of the Poudre Canyon last September, according to an official review of the fire. The fire, which became the largest in Colorado history, was not fully contained until early December, after it had burned more than 200,000 acres and destroyed 224 homes.
Large wildfires “dramatically alter the terrain and ground conditions” of the areas they burn, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Where lush vegetation may have once absorbed heavy rains, “wildfires leave the ground charred, barren and unable to absorb water, creating conditions ripe for flash flooding and mudflow,” according to FEMA, which said the flood risk from a wildfire can last for up to five years.