Two people have died as a result of the Black Forest Fire. El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said the remains of two people have been found.
Maketa didn't give the exact location but said the two individuals were found on a property in a heavily wooded area and it appears that they were preparing to evacuate. He said they most likely died on Tuesday, the day the fire started. Because of the two deaths there is now a criminal investigation underway.
Forty-eight hours after the fire started it has burned 15,700 acres and 38,000 people have been evacuated, affecting 13,000 homes. The evacuation area has extended into Colorado Springs which includes the Flying Horse and Highlands Ranch neighborhoods. In unincorporated El Paso County the mandatory evacuation has extended to the western edge of Fox Run Regional Park, Baptist Road to the north and Northgate Boulevard to the south.
The number of lost homes still stands at 360.
“I'm very hopeful that we didn't lose any homes today. I'm optimistic. If we did we lost very few,” Maketa said.
Rich Harvey, the Type I Incident commander, said there are now 750 firefighters on the fire and today they focused on making sure the south end of the fire near Shoup Road was contained. He said the fire is about five percent contained.
“It's not much progress. We have a long way to go,” Harvey said.
El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn said they are working on creating a Black Forest Re-entry Response Team.
Glenn also said he has personally seen The Pinery, School in the Woods and Black Forest Community Center and they are in good condition. He pointed out that fire fighters from Security and Boulder fought hard to make sure the fire did not touch the School in the Woods. Edith Wolford Elementary School is also still standing.