Preliminary estimates show insurance companies will pay almost $300 million dollars to homeowners affected by the Black Forest Fire.

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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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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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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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A few days into the Black Forest Fire, some local residents are getting outdoors again. Others are still concerned about air quality. KRCC’s Michelle Mercer looked into air quality issues related to the Black Forest Fire.

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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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El Paso County’s disaster assistance center aims to connect evacuees with goods and services available. It served more than 200 households Thursday, its first day of operations. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin found, it was crowded Friday with workers, volunteers and displaced families.

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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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Steve Schopper, Audio/Visual Specialist for the Colorado Springs Fire Department, documented and describes structure protection during the Black Forest Fire. Recorded Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at at approximately 3:30 p.m. Steve gives a behind the scenes look at our firefighters efforts to protect property and save lives.

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The El Paso County Sheriff’s Department has released a new list of damaged properties in the Black Forest Fire, as of 10 PM Thursday night. The count now stands at 379 houses lost, nine partially damaged and 1,813 unaffected.They caution the information is subject to change.

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News was mixed during the Thursday afternoon press conference for the Black Forest Fire. Officials declared the blaze at 5% containment, but they also announced that two people perished in the fire. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports.

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa says the two people who lost their lives had been working to evacuate [...]

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Audio: Q & A between host Mike Procell and News Director Andrea Chalfin after the 5PM press conference

Sheriff Terry Maketa:

Firefighting efforts have been somewhat encouraging today. However, the remains of two individuals were recovered. At about 2:30pm remains of one individual were discovered, an hour later, another. They died in an area of [...]

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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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