FOURMILE CANYON, Colo. -- On a hot afternoon in late September, Allen Owen looked into the distance, hoping for rain. He crawled along unmarked dirt roads in his white Dodge Ram four-wheel drive truck, passing handwritten signs saying, "Thank you firefighters!" and "Be hopeful!" and surveying the mounds of charred metal and debris that had been homes just three weeks earlier. There was other damage he couldn't see. The state's emergency wildfire fund was now down to zero -- drained to extinguish the blazes that cut through more than 6,000 acres of land that month. As for the local and federal firefighting forces that brought the fire under control after eight days, they were exhausted.