Posted: Sep 12, 2012 5:43 PM by Matt Stafford
Updated: Sep 12, 2012 5:44 PM
Not much in terms of new information came from Wednesday's press conference from the Waldo Canyon Fire Task Force, handling the investigation into the cause.
Lt. Adrian Vasquez with the Colorado Springs Police Department told the media that the fire was caused by humans, but they don't know if it was accidental or intentional. They have not identified a person of interest. District Attorney Dan May said until we have that answer - whether or not it was intentionally set -- we won't know if criminal charges apply.
They've pinpointed the fire to within a three-mile radius of the Waldo Canyon trailhead, off of Highway 24.
Calls of smoke first started coming in Friday, June 22nd. Crews investigated but didn't find anything. They were back out the next morning by seven, but couldn't contain it.
The investigation task force says they've had more than 300 tips come in; 100 of them, or so, they consider high priority and have checked them out. They plan on following up with the rest in time.
Information at the press conference on the investigation was limited; they say they don't want to jeopardize things.
Police say they need someone to come forward to put the final pieces of the puzzle together, and they say they'll update the community as new information becomes available, but only news that won't negatively impact the investigation.
When asked, if this is all you're releasing why it's taken three months to do it, Lt. Vasquez responded.
"The information that has been out in the public domain; that has not been released from us as far as I'm aware," says Lt. Vasquez. "We would not release that information until the investigation to this point is complete, so any information that came out before that is incomplete information and should not have been out there."
In the meantime mitigation work continues. News 5 had a chance to speak with Jeri Marr from the National Forest Service about the mulch drops they've been doing and what affect Wednesday's rain will have on it. Marr says not much immediately; we'll still see flooding and have the potential for mudslides. However, the rain will help anchor in the mulch, helping it do its job and slow down water flow as mitigation work continues.
So a small bit of positive news, but a lot of unanswered questions remain.