With all the hubbub about allegations of Sheriff Terry Maketa
's relationships within his office, we got to wondering: Where the heck is that Black Forest Fire report?
The fire, which destroyed more than 500 homes and charred some 14,000 acres, broke out on June 11
last year and we haven't seen an after action analysis yet.
So we asked the sheriff, who had this to say in an e-mail to us:
I just finished my review of the final draft for the AAR. I provided three separate items for clarification and returned it to Chief Harmon Monday morning. He is expecting my requested amendments to be completed by tomorrow and then add in the supporting documentation which will not be a major task. The Investigation of the BBF is nearly complete and being prepared for presentation to the District Attorney. In addition to the DA review I am under the impression a third party "peer review" is being conducted and I am not sure exactly where that process is. The bottom line is we are very close to that investigation being completed and nearing public review; I just do not have a date.
If you were one of those people who were affected by the fire, the county is urging you to take this survey
about your experience navigating the insurance claims process and the status of your recovery. The information will be used to help those affected.
Also, the county issued an announcement of a party to mark the one-year anniversary:
El Paso County is hosting the Black Forest Community Picnic from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., on Wednesday, June 11, at Black Forest Regional Park. The picnic marks the one-year anniversary of the Black Forest Fire.
Commissioner Darryl Glenn said, “This is a great opportunity for the Black Forest community to gather, remember and reflect on the challenges over the past year. We’ve made significant strides in the rebuilding process but there’s more work that needs to be done. Now it’s time for our community to come together and reconnect with volunteers, friends and loved ones.
The picnic includes live music from the J. Miller Band, a Home Depot Kids’ Project, a special Thank You from El Paso County and the Commissioners’ Ice Cream Social (free while supplies last) with Rizuto’s Ice Cream, featuring a new Black Forest flavor just for the picnic. There will also be booths with information on rebuilding and recovery efforts as well as short tours hosted by Parks staff showing mitigation and recovery efforts around the park.
Three food trucks will be on site, Za’s Pizza, Fire House BBQ and Merken Chilean Style Sandwiches. If attendees do not want to purchase food and drinks, it is perfectly fine to bring a picnic basket.
The Community Picnic is sponsored by FedEx, which is the ‘Partner in the Park’ for Black Forest Regional Park.
Lawn chairs, blankets, picnic games and other items are welcome. The Playground is open again, thanks to Pikes Peak Community Foundation and student volunteers from Pine Creek High School, The Classical Academy and Ashton Ruff’s Eagle Scout Project.
Alcohol is not allowed in the Park.
Leashed pets are allowed, but Park staff asks that attendees to pick up after their pets.