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Private dirt roads in Black Forest remain vulnerable

Heavy rain after last summer's wildfire could wash out roads again

Private Dirt Roads in Black Forest Remain Vulnerable

BLACK FOREST, Colo. - Residents along privately-owned dirt roads in Black Forest have no one but themselves to rely on if heavy rains damage the roads again, as they did last summer after the wildfire.

El Paso County has no jurisdiction on private property and federal funds are not available, either.  That leaves impacted residents like Lee Seigel responsible for their own repairs.

"I have (heavy equipment) so I can move some dirt and repair the road if I need to," he said.  "Last year, a few of my neighbors asked me if they could drive through my property to get to theirs."

Amanda Davis, director of Crosses For Losses, an organization helping fire victims, said most dirt roads are at least passable if not completely rebuilt since the fire.

"Some of our little old ladies are having a bit of a challenge getting in and out (of their driveways) because we've had big trucks coming also and the big trucks are also putting more divots in the roads, and making them hard to get in and out," she said.

Davis said her organization is preparing to provide sandbags to residents, as it did last summer.  She said more road wash outs are inevitable, and residents have few options available.

Catholic Charities in Colorado Springs is one of several local agencies that provided equipment and materials to help rebuild some roads.

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