Jordan Steffen, Kurtis Lee and Kieran Nicholson
The Denver Post

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June 14, 2013
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Black Forest fire likely caused by human, El Paso County sheriff says

BLACK FOREST — Investigators looking into the origin and cause of the devastating Black Forest fire believe it's likely that someone started the blaze, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said Friday.

"I'm pretty confident that natural causes will be out the window," he said. With two deaths already blamed on the fire, investigators will focus on whether the cause was arson or an accident.

"We didn't have lightning in the area. Lightning is usually one of the contributing factors we first look at in the area when it come to natural causes," Maketa said.

He also said there were no rocks near the area of origin that could have been involved in a slide that would have created a spark.

Firefighters continued to battle the fire north of Colorado Springs that has consumed 15,700 acres and 389 homes since it started Tuesday.

Some 38,000 people are impacted in the mandatory evacuation zone that covers 24 square miles, stretching from Elbert County to the northern part of Colorado Springs. Highway 83 is closed from Powers Boulevard to Highway 105.

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The VailDaily Updated Jun 14, 2013 02:48PM Published Jun 17, 2013 03:18PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.