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Residents visit homes as Colorado wildlife partially contained

June 15, 2013 at 9:30 AM   |   Comments

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COLORADO SPRINGS, June 15 (UPI) -- Colorado's Black Forest fire is 30 percent contained, allowing some of the thousands of residents forced to flee the blaze to return home, officials said.

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said overcast skies and rain had helped firefighters control the wildfire, The Denver Post reported Saturday.

Officials have raised the number of destroyed homes to 473, a total officials said reflected more accurate surveys and not additional losses.

Since the fire began Tuesday, 15,700 acres of ponderosa pines have been blackened near Colorado Springs and two people have died.

Police allowed some residents to briefly visit their homes to pick up medicine and belongings.

Investigators also began looking for clues about how the fire started.

"I'm pretty confident that natural causes are out the window," Maketa said, noting no lightning was reported in the area at the time the fire started.

The first phone calls that reported the fire will be used to narrow down its origin, officials said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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