Black Forest Fire has burned 8,000 acres

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Nine hours after the Black Forest Fire started nearly 8,000 acres have burned and the fire is at zero percent containment.

During a 10 p.m. news briefing El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa gave an update on the Black Forest Fire saying they are expected to receive air support from the MAFFS, Modular Airborne FireFighting System stationed at Peterson Air Force Base, to help fight the fast moving fire.

Maketa said the call about the fire came in around 1 p.m. and the cause of the fire is unknown at this time. He said approximately 24,000 acres are in the mandatory evacuation area affecting a population of about 5,469 and 1,966 homes. The evacuation area is Hodgen Road to the north, Eastonville Road to the east, Burgess Road to the south and Tahosa Lane to the west.

Maketa said it was not known exactly how many structures have burned. He said there are 155 firefighters fighting the fire and a Type I Incident Command Team is expected to arrive soon.

Helping fight the fire is 16 water tenders, 36 engines, four bulldozers, four Type I helicopters, one Type II helicopter, one Type III helicopters and one air tanker.

Maketa said there are 130 law enforcement officers from different agencies assisting and the National Guard will be arriving to help maintain security of the evacuation area.

EPC Commissioner Chair Dennis Hisey said within the next 48 hours a disaster recovery center will be set up at the Citizens Service Center on the Garden of the Gods Road.

Evacuation shelters have been set up at New Life Church and Palmer Ridge High School in Monument. Evacuees can take dogs and cats to the high school. Animal shelters have been set-up at the Norris-Penrose Center in Colorado Springs and the Elbert County Fair.