Local News

After action report on Black Forest Fire from county administration

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - The El Paso County Public Services Department released it's After Action Report on the Black Forest Fire.

The Black Forest Fire was the most destructive fire in Colorado history.  More than 14,000 acres burned and close to 500 homes were destroyed.  966 firefighters fought the fire, an effort costing more than $9 Million.

But that fight is far from over.

Many departments and offices within El Paso County are still recovering from the fire.

The After Action Report released Thursday (6/26/14) night is meant to help County Administration prepare for future disaster responses with lessons learned during the Black Forest Fire.

The county mentioned six significant challenges faced during the fire:

1.       Some departments need to improve upon their procedures for transitioning to 24-hour emergency operations.

2.       Bulldozer operators cutting fire lines did not have personal protective equipment.

3.       $45 million in administrative budget reductions have left County Administration hard pressed to meet increased demands after the fire.

4.       As Commissioners went back to work, they interacted separately with County Administration, sometimes directly or indirectly communicating instructions to county staff that at times caused confusion.

5.       In complying with the State Sunshine Law, Commissioners were precluded from meeting more than two-at-a-time, impeding their ability to communicate.

6.       The Public Services Department through support from other county departments, has taken the lead on recovery efforts.

You can read the full report from the El Paso County Public Services Department here.

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