More residents under mandatory evacuation orders due to the Black Forest Fire were able to return home today and Incident Commander Rich Harvey declared the blaze 75% contained. As KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports, even as thousands return home, the number of burglaries reported remains at four.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Officials have continuously stressed that law enforcement is patrolling evacuated neighborhoods, and District Attorney Dan May says the incidents are isolated.

“As people go back in, they may find damage on their home. Most likely we’re finding that damage is probably a first responder who’s going into the home to make it safe from the fire itself.”

But for those few that aren’t as a result of these safety measures, May says he won’t treat the cases lightly.

“What we’ve found in the past is this is considered an aggravated circumstance. These are our neighbors and friends who have been victimized already by a horrible disaster. And then to be re-victimized by someone going in to put their greed ahead of the loss of the people in this community, the judges are finding that as great aggravation and are sentencing appropriately.”

Several looters during last year’s Waldo Canyon Fire were recently given lengthy prison sentences. Returning homeowners who notice unexpected damages should contact El Paso County Dispatch at 719-390-5555. Officials expect to downgrade more evacuation areas this evening.

 

Comments are closed.

News

Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
April 2, 2020 | NPR · Russia reported a spike of 771 new coronavirus patients on Thursday, sharpening a dreaded upward curve in cases. It has now confirmed more than 3,500 coronavirus cases.
 

Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images
April 2, 2020 | NPR · Recovery will take years, and other lessons from “education in emergencies” around the world.
 

AP
April 2, 2020 | NPR · The staggering number of people claiming jobless benefits set a new record for the second week in a row. Much of the country has been ordered to stay at home, bringing the economy to a lurching halt.
 

Arts & Life

New Directions
April 2, 2020 | NPR · Fernanda Melchor’s poetic, foul-mouthed new novel sits on the border between crime fiction and horror: A woman known as the Witch has been murdered, and her neighbors want to know who did it and why/
 

Andrews McMeel Publishing
April 2, 2020 | NPR · In her graphic memoir, cartoonist Huda Fahmy explains how her parents played a role in her romantic relationships. She hopes her book is representation “for people who want to find love in this way.”
 

Getty Images
April 1, 2020 | NPR · Authors explore questions of morality, evil, solidarity and survival in Albert Camus’ The Plague, Geraldine Brooks’ Year of Wonders and Karen Thompson Walker’s The Dreamers.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
April 2, 2020 | NPR · In Our Daily Breather, we ask artists to recommend ways to find calm and comfort during the COVID-19 crisis. Ruston Kelly recommends Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” and believing in the power of art.
 

Mountain Stage
April 2, 2020 | WVPB · Celebrated bluegrass band Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out stopped by Mountain Stage for a rousing rendition of “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and more.
 

Getty Images
April 2, 2020 | NPR · Schlesinger’s creative tendrils extended into the catalogs of many other brilliant artists.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab