The U.S. Army yesterday announced plans to deactivate one of Fort Carson’s four Brigade Combat Teams by 2017. The move would affect nearly 4,000 soldiers, but as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, it’s not yet clear how many positions the Colorado Springs Army post would actually lose.

Fort Carson spokesman Lt. Col. Armando Hernandez says [...]

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The estimated size of the East Peak Fire burning in Huerfano County is now 13,491 acres with 50% containment, and Walsenburg is no longer under a pre-evacuation notice. Other evacuation notices remain in effect. A community meeting is scheduled for today, June 25th at La Veta Town Park at 7 PM.

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The Black Forest Fire destroyed over 500 homes, leaving those homeowners with a difficult decision: should they rebuild? Back in April, KRCC’s Michelle Mercer talked to some Waldo Canyon Fire victims about the tough choices they’ve made.

Since this piece aired in April, rebuilding permits have trickled in: now 198 permits have been issued, [...]

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This week marks one year since the Waldo Canyon Fire erupted into what was at the time, the most destructive wildfire in state history, claiming nearly 350 homes and two lives. Now, residents of the Pikes Peak region are again sifting through ruins: this month, the Black Forest Fire destroyed more than 500 homes and claimed two lives.

This week we’re rerunning our series Flash Point: Living with Wildfire. This special series explores how we’re managing the ongoing threat of fire, and looks at what it means to reside within reach of mountain forests.

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A Wildfire Smoke Health Advisory remains in effect for much of southern Colorado as a result of multiple wildfires. El Paso County, southeast Colorado, and south-central Colorado are all included in this advisory.

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Three fires are a part of the West Fork Fire Complex: the West Fork Fire, the Papoose Fire, and the Windy Pass Fire. The complex has grown to 75,150 acres with no containment and is burning in steep, rugged terrain with large amounts of beetle-killed spruce. Highway 160 remains closed, and multiple evacuations remain in effect.

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The East Peak Fire burning in Huerfano County is now 50% contained after firefighters conducted a successful burnout operation yesterday. Acreage is now at 13,388. Officials have determined it was caused by lightening. Walsenburg remains on pre-evacuation notice. Residents of the Silver Spurs, River Ridge, and Blackhawk subdivisions are able to go home, with the exception of a section of Blackhawk on the west side of County Road 312. Residents should remain alert and ready.

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Due to pre-evacuation status in Walsenburg, the Mining Museum is requesting help removing artifacts and documents. They especially need people with trucks or SUVs to transport historical items to a safe location.

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Per the Huerfano County Office of Emergency Management, there is a mandatory evacuation from E of La Veta to the W side of I-25 and S of Hwy 160 to the Las Animas county line. The city of Walsenburg is now under a pre evacuation order at this time.

Pre-Evacuation is in effect from [...]

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No growth on the fire today, and it’s now 30% contained. Mop-up is underway.

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The East Peak Fire (originally named the Scout Ranch Fire) is burning in Huerfano County. A Type II Incident Command team and air support have been ordered. There’s a red flag warning in the area today, and officials are expecting extreme fire behavior. Around 350 acres have burned with 0% containment. Evacuations are in place (see inside).

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Earlier today, the Colorado Department of Health issued an Ozone Action Day Alert for much of the Front Range. It is expected to last through Thursday at around 4 PM.

There are multiple fires burning across the state, including the Lime Gulch Fire in Jefferson County, the Bull Gulch Fire in [...]

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Homes with Highway 83 address that have direct access off Hwy 83 are now on pre-evacuation status. El Paso County Public Health is opening what it’s calling a Public Health Convenience Center for water testing kits, tetanus vaccinations, and public health information.

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Containment on the Black Forest Fire remains at 85%, and the most current assessment shows 509 homes considered total losses. Incident Commander Rich Harvey says they’re expecting some different weather today. It’s expected to be hot and dry, with low humidity. Harvey calls it a test.

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Thousands of evacuees are returning to their homes as the Black Forest Fire north of Colorado Springs reaches 85% containment. But as KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports, the number of homes lost has now surpassed 500. Tuesday evening’s latest update shows the total homes destroyed as 509, and assessments continue.

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Colorado legislators in Washington are pushing for Congress to pass the Farm Bill. Senators approved their version last week, and as KUNC’s Luke Runyon reports, now it’s the House’s turn.

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The latest home assessment shows 509 homes lost, 28 with partial damage, and 3656 appear unaffected. Those numbers are likely to change. The fire remains 85% contained, with 14,280 acres burned. Total cost to-date is just over $7 million.

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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.

Officials have continuously stressed that law enforcement is [...]

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From today’s press conference: The fire is now 75% contained. As of 8 PM, new areas are downgraded from mandatory evacuation status to pre-evacuation status. List is inside this post. The El Paso County Health Department has set up this page for safe cleanup information, but advises contacting insurance companies prior to begin cleanup. Updated home assessment: lost 502, partial damage 18, appears unaffected 3651. Information is subject to change as assessments continue.

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The Black Forest Fire is now 65% contained, yet thousands of displaced residents are still unable to go home, or see what remains of it. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, throngs of evacuees now come to the daily media briefings, and their frustrations are growing.

El Paso County Commission Chair Dennis Hisey yesterday began describing [...]

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Officials announced around 6:30 Sunday evening that the Royal Gorge Fire near Cañon City is now 100% contained. Smoke may still be visible due to interior pockets of unburned fuel inside the containment lines, but crews finished mopping up the perimeter today. Command control will transition back to local departments at 6 am. The [...]

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Containment is at 65%. Sheriff Terry Maketa has released four more areas from mandatory evacuation to pre-evacuation status; details inside. Next news conference is at 11:15 Monday.

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The following are downgraded from mandatory to pre-evacuation status:

Howells Rd. (south of Crosslen Lane)
Rainbow Ln.
Crosslen Ln.
Ford Dr.
Lepprechun Ln.
Timber Ln.
Timberlane Ct.
Creekview Rd.
High Meadows Ln.

Here’s the audio from today’s noon press briefing. The next briefing is Sunday at [...]

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News

AP
April 26, 2015 | NPR · At least 17 people are reported dead on the mountain after a massive quake-triggered avalanche swept through base camp on the south side on Saturday.
 

LA Johnson/NPR
April 26, 2015 | NPR · A bill in the Iowa state Senate would rate and fire professors based solely on student evaluations. Research suggests that’s not such a good idea.
 

April 26, 2015 | WNYC · In the New York Congressional district where an an unarmed black man died at the hands of police last year, neither candidate for a special congressional election is using the death to score points.
 

Arts & Life

April 26, 2015 | NPR · In honor of National Poetry Month, our latest Weekend Read is Fred Moten’s collection The Little Edges. Poet Douglas Kearney says Moten’s power is in his attention to music, both in text and subject.
 

April 26, 2015 | NPR · Every answer to today’s puzzle is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with L-O and the second word starts with G.
 

AFP/Getty Images
April 26, 2015 | NPR · It’s no accident that Peruvian cuisine has become popular in recent years. It’s government policy – one that a number of middle-income nations are adopting to flex their muscles on the global stage.
 

Music

April 26, 2015 | NPR · Putting the eclectic back in alternative, Felix Contreras of Alt.Latino talks with Rachel Martin and shares some 1960s Colombian throwback tunes, Latin jazz and bluegrass mariachi.
 

Courtesy of the artist
April 25, 2015 | NPR · Chad Clark of the band Beauty Pill walks us through creating “Steven and Tiwonge,” a song about a gay couple in Malawi sentenced to 14 years in prison for their sexuality.
 

Getty Images
April 25, 2015 | NPR · In his new memoir, Music Without Words, the composer explains how a chance meeting with Ravi Shankar sparked a fascination with the cultures of the world and their music.
 

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