ST LOUIS (LALATE) – Black Forest Fire officials this morning praised federal and Colorado state evacuation resources including the effort to keep the Black Forest Fire Evacuation Map updated twice per date. In a news briefing this morning, Sheriff Maketa advised news that there is little that firefighters can do once a entire dense forest area around homes is engulfed in tree burning limbs. But he said that resources have achieved new containment numbers overnight.
The Black Forest Fire Evacuation map was updated this morning by news June 14, 2013. In fact, Sheriff Maketa praised both federal and local resources in deploying such quite firefighting resources while also updating news and residents so quickly this week. In a news briefing, Maketa said the “intention is to update the home assessment list a couple of times throughout the day.” He advised news that containment is now at five percent and could improve soon. But he added “I have never seen national resources deployed so quickly. I’m very pleased with the response.”
Maketa has been holding news briefings twice per day and will do the same today with any changes to the Black Forest Fire Evacuation map. “Next media briefing will be at 5 pm this afternoon”, his office told news. Officials are also alerting residences to use their call line for fire updates. But some confusion has erupted about that number. “The tip line at 444-8393 is NOT for general information. Please continue to call 444-8300 for information.”
The Sheriffs Office also indicated to news today that mandatory evacuation of Flying Horse neighborhood will remain in place. A new Disaster Assistance Center will stay open at 1675 Garden of the Gods Road 8am-6pm through the weekend, he also told news. Rich Harvey told news that improved weather conditions aided the firefight last night. “Firefighters had a good night. Crews cautious regarding weather [for today].”
Maketa disputed reports of looting overnight. But he says that thirty-eight thousand residents are impacted by the fire. The fire is still “holding” at around fifteen thousand acres. But officials report that “structure protection was encouraging last night.”
Thirteen thousand homes remain on evocation today. A major expansion in evacuation lines were announced Thursday afternoon, as reported on LALATE. Officials did not anticipate this morning any major new changes to evacuation lines Friday. But amid possible weather changes, they are advising residents in pre-evacuation zones to be alert. “We have a large area — when you are thinking about 15,000 acres — where you can drive through one hour and things look pretty well calmed down. Then we get a gust of wind and the next thing you know, we have a ranging flame. We’re seeing that all over,” Maketa said.