Friday, June 14, 2013

UPDATE: 'Total losses' now at 389 in Black Forest Fire

Posted By on Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 1:07 PM

In an update time-stamped "approximately 12 p.m.," the El Paso County Sheriff's Office is reporting 389 homes now considered "total losses" in the Black Forest Fire. Along with those are another 12 homes with partial damage, and 2,178 homes that appear unaffected.

See the full list here:

http://www.epcsheriff.com/bff/Black%20Forest%20Fire%20-%20Residences.pdf

——- PREVIOUS POST, FRIDAY, 6/14, 6:41 A.M. ———-

Overnight, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office released updated information regarding how homes have fared in the Black Forest Fire area. The "total loss" number is up to 379, while nine other homes are considered to have "partial damage," and 1,813 "appear unaffected."

Here's a link to the list:
http://www.epcsheriff.com/bff/Black%20Forest%20Fire%20-%20Residences.pdf


———— ORIGINAL POST, THURSDAY, 6:37 P.M. ———-

Sheriff Terry Maketa

In the latest blow from the Black Forest Fire, two people have been found dead, having likely perished on Tuesday, said El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa.

"As I described the scene, it was very heavily wooded; it was a dirt road with an 'L' off of that; a longer driveway," he said. "It appears as though the individuals were in the garage. Their car doors were open, as though they were loading or grabbing last-minute things. And all indications were, from the evidence on scene, that they were planning to depart very quickly.

"We do have witnesses that spoke to these two people, one at around 4:20 [p.m.] and they said that they could see a glow to the west. They were packing their personal belongings, trying to get out. At 5 o'clock, there was another phone conversation: The person that they were speaking with said he could hear popping and cracking in the background, and they advised they "are leaving right now ..."

Also at the press conference was Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach, who expressed his condolences: "Another sad day in the Pikes Peak region, today: Two lives lost, from what I understand. And our hearts go out to their loved ones, and our thoughts and prayers are with all the people who have been hurt by this fire."

Fire-wise, the burn area has grown to 15,700 acres, or around 25 square miles, emptying roughly 13,000 homes and 38,000 people. About 750 firefighters are engaged in the fight, and have achieved containment of 5 percent.

"So, not much progress; we've got a long ways to go," said incident commander Rich Harvey. "But given the weather forecast today, the winds and that kind of stuff, we're happy with the progress that we've made. We did get a few breaks ... This cloud cover preventing some of the solar radiation, raising the relative humidity, gave us a little bit of fighting chance — we took advantage of that."

Thursday morning, Maketa reported that 1,205 homes were confirmed to be unaffected by the fire; 14 were partially damaged; and 360 homes were recognized as "complete losses." If those tallies have been updated, the numbers have not yet been released to the public; the sheriff's list, available at the link below, still bears a time stamp of 2 a.m. Thursday:

http://www.epcsheriff.com/bff/Black%20Forest%20Fire%20-%20Residences.pdf

One sweet moment at the afternoon press conference came from Maketa's description of firefighters from Boulder and Security holding off flames from consuming District 20's School in the Woods: "Those guys just decided they were gonna take a stand and save that building," he said. "And they had their backs against the building; and they fought the fire, pushed it back, dug a trench, and then they were staying there to make sure that school was no longer threatened."

Maketa also said he was cautiously optimistic that no more homes were lost today. The fire's cause is still unknown.

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