Fire is holding, no new ground gained

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The Black Forest Fire is still at five percent containment but El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa is very pleased that the firefighters haven't lost any additional ground and there were no additional structures lost on the second night of the fire.

“Yesterday we gained tremendous ground,” Maketa said.

Incident commander Rich Harvey said, “The corner is a long ways away but we are turning a corner.”

Harvey said there are a lot of hot spots they are concerned about particularly on the northern edge and just east of Colo. 83 and Shoup Road but they have a dozer line along Colo. 83 and will focus on those areas today.

He said they are working closely with the Westcott Fire Protection District, Black Forest Fire and Rescue and Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District in those areas.

Maketa said on June 13 that the fire had burned 15,700 acres but at the June 14 morning news brief he said they now think it is between 13,000 and 15,000 acres. The number of homes lost now stands at 379. Maketa said they are still surveying 7,000 homes to see what the damage is. The list of homes can be found at http://www.epcsheriff.com/bff/Black%20Forest%20Fire%20-%20Residences.pdf. The sheriff's office is continually updating the list.

Maketa said that investigators are narrowing down a point of origin for where the fire started. He requested that anyone with information or pictures that may be helpful to the investigation call 719-444-8393 or email blackforesttipline@elpasoco.com.

The number of people evacuated still remained at 38,000 by the afternoon of June 14. The National Guard set up a road block at the corner of Voyager Parkway and Northgate Boulevard to block anyone from trying to get into the Flying Horse neighborhood where Discover Canyon Campus is located. There was also one at the entrance to the Northgate Highlands neighborhood.

Maketa said the sheriff's office has not received any recent (Thursday) reports of looting.

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