Sheriff denies report that Black Forest wildfire was ‘intentional’

Sheriff denies report that Black Forest wildfire was ‘intentional’

21 November 2013

published by

USA — The El Paso County Sheriff criticized a report by a Colorado Springs TV station quoting the Black Forest fire chief saying the Black Forest Fire was intentionally set.

KRDO reported Wednesday that Black Forest Fire Chief Bob Harvey confirmed the information. “Yes, it was human caused and appears intentional,” he told KRDO.

“Do not buy into Chief Harvey’s claims until it’s confirmed by the actual agency that has been the lead of the investigation and will base its findings on indisputable scientific evidence that can withstand the scrutiny of the criminal justice system,” said Sheriff Terry Maketa. “His comments are nothing more than an attempt to mislead the public and a mere witch hunt.”

The Black Forest Fire started June 11 and burned more than 14,000 acres over the course of several days.

Mark Herklotz, 52, and his wife Robin, 50, died as they tried to escape the flames.

It destroyed almost 500 homes and damaged another three dozen in the area north of Colorado Springs. The fire forced the evacuation of 38,000 people from 13,000 homes.

Damage estimates are in the neighborhood of $85 million.

Record heat, dry conditions and strong winds set the stage for the explosive fire to race across thousands of acres of land.

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