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Briefing on Waldo Canyon investigation set for Sept. 12

By: MATT STEINER
August 29, 2012
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photo - Residents were allowed to return home to Mountain Shadows on Sunday, July 1, 2012. Many returned to ashes of their homes. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett) Photo by
Residents were allowed to return home to Mountain Shadows on Sunday, July 1, 2012. Many returned to ashes of their homes. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett) Photo by  

A news conference focusing on the investigation into the Waldo Canyon fire will be held Sept. 12 in Colorado Springs, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service said.

Steve Segin, of the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center, said details of the briefing are being ironed out. Segin added that it will most likely be held at the Colorado Springs Police Operations Center on South Nevada Avenue at about noon.

The investigation into the cause of the 18,427-acre blaze that destroyed 346 homes and killed two people in Colorado Springs moved from the hills west of Colorado Springs to the laboratory in late July after an eight-agency team combed the spot where the fire began on June 23.

From soon after the fire started the indications have been that it was human caused. There was no lightning in the area around the time the fire was reported, and the Forest Service is quick to identify lightning as a cause, as it did with the High Park fire near Fort Collins.

On June 25, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office set up a tip line for people to call with information on the start of the fire. At a daily briefing a day later, the Forest Service urged anyone who was in Waldo Canyon or near Pyramid Mountain around the time the fire started to contact authorities.

The investigation has involved multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and Colorado Springs police homicide detectives.

Segin said a complete report on the investigation will likely not be revealed Sept. 12 as the investigation is ongoing.

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