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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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 55%. Some areas are opening up as of 8 PM to a pre-evacuation notice: The area north of Hodgen Rd. and west of Black Forest Rd., and areas north of Walker Rd. High Forest Ranch will also be downgraded to preevacuation status. Access is from the north. Highway 83, Walker Road, and Meridian Road are still closed. El Paso County has released updated assessments of homes: 483 total loss, 17 partial damage, 3451 appear unaffected. Our notes follow:

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The fire is 30% contained, says Incident Commander Rich Harvey. The count of houses lost is now 419. There is a community meeting at Palmer Ridge High School, Saturday morning at 10 AM for residents.

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U.S. 50 has reopened, and all evacuated residents are allowed home. Officials say those residents will remain on a pre-evacuation notice, pending fire conditions. The Royal Gorge Tourist Train can begin running again, once the railway determines they’re ready. River access on the closed sections of the Arkansas River will be re-evaluated on Friday. Containment of the fire is listed at 40%.

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Next press briefing is scheduled for 5 PM. 360 homes are complete losses, 1205 homes unaffected, 79 could not verify, 14 partially damaged. Estimated acreage burned is 15,000. El Paso County Disaster Assistance Center is open at the Citizen Service Center on Garden of the Gods Road. Expecting a red flag day, no containment to report.

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As of 10:15 PM Tuesday night, officials estimate the Royal Gorge Fire at 3800 acres, with 0% containment. Evacuations include south of US 50 to Canon City; west from Canon City to Parkdale; east from County Road 3A. Red Cross shelter is located at Evangelical Free Church, Canon City. At least three structures have been lost. The fire jumped the Arkansas River canyon, and is within a quarter mile of US Hwy 50 in some areas. Power outages north of Canon City are affecting 350 customers.

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The Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management is offering another round of free sandbags today to residents affected by potential flooding, starting at 5 PM.

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Industrial hemp could be Colorado’s next cash crop. But until rules are crafted for the growing and processing of the plant, state officials are telling would-be hemp farmers to wait. KUNC’s Luke Runyon has more.

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Colorado Springs City Council yesterday voted to spend $10 million from the city savings account to lessen the risk of catastrophic fire and flooding following last year’s Waldo Canyon fire. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports.

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Residents of Mountain Shadows and others are invited to an informational meeting Tuesday, May 7th. The meeting is expected to address updated information regarding the increased flood risk and the city’s planned response to a potential flash flooding. Presenters are planning to spend the first half focusing specifically on risk in the Mountain Shadows [...]

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This Saturday marks the first statewide Wildfire Preparedness Day of Service. As KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports, one of the more regional projects involves fuel mitigation in Black Forest.

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Dr. David Rosgen of Wildland Hydrology presented a regional study yesterday, looking at how water, sediment, and debris is predicted to flow along the Waldo Canyon burn scar. It’s called a Watershed Assessment of River Stability and Sediment Supply, or WARSSS. During the presentation, Rosgen said it’ll take the better part of a century [...]

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Residents of Chaffee County are invited to Wildfire Preparedness Seminars, put on by Colorado State Forest Sevice, Salida District. The meetings are expected to focus on topics including this year’s wildland fire forecasts, homeowner mitigation tips, and evacuation plans during an incident. Tonight’s meeting is at the Salida Steam Plant Annex. Tomorrow’s meeting takes [...]

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Federal food inspectors will start checking cantaloupe farms and other processing facilities throughout the country and here in Colorado for deadly food borne bacteria. As KUNC and Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports, the increased scrutiny is in direct response to two large-scale outbreaks.

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In one of its first actions, the new Colorado Springs City Council yesterday shelved an expansion of a solar energy program. And, as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, a new practice by Council President Keith King signaled what the outcome would be.

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El Paso County officials have rescheduled its Flood Preparedness Town Hall for residents of Chipita Park and Cascade for Monday, April 22 at Ute Pass Elementary at 6:30 PM. This comes after Tuesday’s planned meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather.

You can watch a video of Monday night’s Flood Preparedness Town Hall below [...]

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Colorado College students are back in two buildings today after a chemical incident in a science lab yesterday afternoon caused evacuations and sent 13 people to the hospital. It also shut down Nevada Avenue. KRCC’s Hannah Sohl reports.

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Nevada Avenue between Cache la Poudre and Uintah in downtown Colorado Springs is closed due to a hazardous material incident at Colorado College. KRCC’s Hannah Sohl reports.

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Colorado Springs City Council yesterday voted to expand its Community Solar Garden program, a subsidy for solar energy that allows consumers to invest in solar panels without installing them on their own rooftops. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports.

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Tonight’s flood preparedness meeting at Ute Pass Elementary for residents of Chipita Park and Cascade has been postponed due to the weather. County officials are working to reschedule the session. Click inside for a list of currently scheduled meetings.

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Colorado Springs police arrested a man this morning who they say is a gang member and “person of interest” in the case of slain Colorado Corrections chief Tom Clements. But as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, he is being held on unrelated warrants, not as a homicide suspect.

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