BLACK FOREST, Colo. - As a deadly Colorado wildfire – the most destructive in the state's history – reaches near-full containment, another fire was growing and prompting even more evacuations.
The Black Forest Fire has burned 14,280 acres, destroyed 509 homes and damaged 28 others. About 2,609 people remain evacuated, but that number was dropping as neighborhoods were being reopened.
The fire was 95 percent contained as of Thursday morning.
With the deaths of two people blamed on the fire, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa says there's multiple scenes that need to be maintained.
"We have the point of origin investigation as well we have a death investigation. So those areas we need to keep maintained," Maketa said at a Wednesday news conference.. "And although you might not be close to those areas, that fire is a crime scene until otherwise proven. The entire burn area is."
To the northwest, a wildfire burning in Jefferson County prompted evacuation orders for about 100 residents. The Lime Gulch Fire, named the Chair Rock Fire before the U.S. Forest Service assumed management of the blaze, had burned about 500 acres by Wednesday night
"All the evacuations went off without a hitch, all the people are accounted for," Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink said. "The good news is that it is a very sparsely populated area, as far as houses go, so we were able to go door-to-door to make sure the evacuation was complete."
The Forest Service reports two hotshot crews and two initial attack crews were on the ground Wednesday fighting the fire. In addition crews from five local fire departments were on the scene. In the air, helicopters and Air Force MAFFS planes were seen dropping water or fire retardant.