8:30 p.m. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office released an updated home assessment list for the Black Forest fire as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, with 509 homes considered a total lost. Homes that appeared unaffected were numbered at 3,653 and those with partial damage at 28. Their list is online here.
Sheriff Maketa had said at the afternoon news briefing that he expected the number of homes lost to increase as assessment continued.
4:05 p.m. Sheriff's office says the two people killed in the Black Forest fire are Marc Allen Herklotz, 52, and his wife, Robin Lauran Herklotz, 50. They lived at 6720 Jicarilla Dr. in Black Forest, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. The Herklotzes owned 2.6 acres of property in Black Forest, according to county records.
Both were civilians that worked at Schriever Air Force Base.
"We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends they leave behind," the sheriff's office said in a statement.
It seems that most, if not all, all of the homes on that street were destroyed in the fire.
3:50 p.m. Black Forest fire re-entry stations will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, through Friday June 21 (School in the Woods, 12002 Vollmer and Black Forest Regional Park, Milan and Shoup). First Aid, clean-up supplies, shovels and tools will be available.
1 p.m. Harvey's advice to residents: "Put your pants on" when you return to your home.
Maketa: It's important for me to get you in there, and I think it's a statement about how we're starting the recovery. "It is very important to me, and if I had a magic wand, I would have you in there by 4 o'clock today."
Central website link to all the others is bffassistance.com, Maketa says.
12:50 p.m. The identity of the two people killed in the fire has not been confirmed by the county coroner, who is working “very diligently” and has had other experts assisting him, Maketa said.
“I speak with him every day. I spoke with him late last night,” he said. “He is working diligently. He’s had to go out and get additional medical records to assist him in a positive identification. I’ll tell you, we have a very good coroner in this community. He doesn’t take shortcuts. He’s very systematic. He is very thorough, and when he is comfortable and he has met the tests he needs to meet to give positive identification, he’s going to release it and then we’re going to release it.”
The coroner has had “very little to work with,” Maketa said.
“We’re talking about a fire that they estimate reached 2,500 degrees and it burned for a long period of time,” he said. I don’t think there would be anything more irresponsible to prematurely release it because we think we know who it is only to find out that we were wrong. So, I’m in full support of his approach. He’s probably one of the finest coroners in this state.”
Maketa: Investigation of the cause of fire is ongoing and making progress. Fire investigators backed off the scene, waiting for expert from U.S. Forest Service who arrived Monday. "We're making progress, but it's certainly something you do not rush," he said.
He is also working to see if a satellite disaster assistance center can be set up closer to Black Forest.
On another note: "Stop washing your cars," Maketa said, because danger of flash flooding and landslides over the Waldo Canyon fire burn scar.
12:45 p.m. American Red Cross spokesman: "We're going to bring more and more resources out to you." They are stocking materials to help residents, including goggles, face maks, shovels and rakes.
12:40 p.m. Wes Ashton of Black Hills Energy said the utility turned off main natural gas lines last week as a precaution. As of yesterday, Black Hills Energy turned on more than 1,000 customers who had turned off because of the Black Forest fire.
Ashton: "Our crews are working sunrise to sunset" to make sure customers have power.
If you get home and think you smell gas, or are concerned, call the Black Hills Energy emergency line: 1-800-694-898. A yellow stake in the yard means Black Hills has been there.
12:35 p.m. County Commissioner Darryl Glenn: County Bar Association providing free legal advice from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday at disaster assistance center, 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road.
Glenn: We have had an unbelievable number of people who want to volunteer. For more info, go to helpcoloradonow.org.
12:30 p.m. Incident Commander Rich Harvey: "Last night they had trouble finding smokes to put out." Firefighters and helping police and police are helping firefighters.
Every morning firefighters are intructed on safety. It's important for the public to rememeber that it is a active fire area; "safe is a relative term."
He increased containment to 85 percent. The cost of fighting the Black Forest fire has increased, to a little over $7 million.
Maketa: "I wake up every day and I'm thankful that the straw we drew was Rich Harvey's team."
12:25 p.m. Maketa: Assessment of homes burned not complete. "I expect that to increase a little more today," he says of the 502 lost. The Shoup corridor is "one of the more devastated areas."
Maketa said he hopes to open some areas to residents for three hours starting at 4 p.m. today. There are still risks in the burn areas, but it is important for people to get in to see their properties, he said.
Maketa: "We're going to open it up temporarily for you alone." Residents will get packets and placards. "That placard will be your access to allow you to come and go," he said.
Maketa says Cathedral Pines neighborhood opens at 2 p.m. today.
Maketa said residents in closed-off areas will receive packets with information and a placard to get into the area.
“That placard will be your access to allow you to come and go as you need to,” he said. “I’ve been telling you all along. It’s a priority for us to get you in to see your property and that day has come. It’s taken seven days. I wish we could’ve done it quicker. But we’ve been working very aggressively.”
12:20 p.m. Maketa: “Yesterday I made a comment that some people are returning to homes and some are returning to rubble. That was not intended to be an insensitive comment at all. My comment was in the context of, ‘Those returning to rubble, we want to have the services there to support you.’”
"We're moving forward, and good things are happening," Maketa said. “I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that although there’s a lot of celebration for the homes that are standing, and I think that’s a phenomenal thing, we need to not forget all those people that have lost every memory they ever created. I know they’re going through a very difficult time, and I don’t want my optimism or that of all of you to overshadow their loss and let them feel forgotten because they’re not forgotten. I drive through that neighborhood every day a couple of times a day and every time I look at a foundation, what I see is somebody losing every memory they ever created that they can never buy, replace or recapture.”
Sheriff’s deputies are investigating six burglary cases so far.
“You heard the district attorney yesterday say he’s going to exercise every corner of the law to get maximum sentences and double sentences on those people. Our job is to find them. His job is to prosecute them,” Maketa said. “Having said that, I feel that just one crime against the victim of this fire is far too many and unacceptable. I’m actually quite pleased that we’re only dealing with six in comparison to hundreds.”
12:15 p.m. New map has been posted at the news briefing. It would appear that some evacuation areas will be changed at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., according to Reporter Matt Steiner.
The mandatory evacuation area currently is 9,830 acres with a population of 2,609 people. It includes a total 937 homes. The total pre-evacuation area is over 70,000 acres, 17,700 people and 6,000 homes.
12:10 p.m. The news briefing has been delayed. Sheriff Terry Maketa said it will begin soon.
11:55 a.m. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office has information for those returning to downgraded areas in the Black Forest fire at ow.ly/d/1k3c
11:30 a.m. Vehicles lined up Tuesday morning waiting to head into the Black Forest burn area. Reporter Jakob Rodgers says it is very slow going, with officers checking IDs.
One woman waiting to go in lives off Vollmer, and her house survived.
"It's bittersweet," Susan O'Neill said. "Because we had a lot of friends who lost their houses."
11:20 a.m. The acreage burned in the fire was increased late Monday to 14,280; the number of firefighters on scene dropped to 966, according to postings on InciWeb, the Forest Service incident information system. El Paso County Sheriff's Office announced Monday night that 502 homes are a total loss and 18 are damaged.
Sheriff's office says the two people killed in the #BlackForestFire are Marc Allen Herklotz, 52, and his wife, Robin Lauran Herklotz, 50.