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Manitou Springs City Council discusses the possibility of Incline Fire starting at a homeless camp

The fire was first reported Thursday just after 5:30 p.m.
Barr Trail fire
Barr Trail fire(Christina Vo)
Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 5:49 PM MDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2020 at 10:46 PM MDT
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MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Despite high winds and red flag warnings on Sunday, firefighters were able to get the Incline Fire 100 percent contained.

The work is now underway on determining a cause and tracking down a person of interest in the blaze. Tuesday night, Manitou Springs City Council brought in the fire chief and chief of police to discuss the response to the fire. There were talks about the possibility of the fire starting at a homeless camp.

“I really think this is a wake-up call for our community,” Councilman Steve Bremner said during Tuesday’s meeting over Zoom. “We’ve got a number of homeless camps out there surrounding our town out there in the woods, and it presents a clear and present danger. That fire highlights that danger.”

The blaze sparked Thursday around 5:30 in the evening. After closer evaluation of the fire, officials downgraded the size from 3-5 acres to approximately 1 acre in size. The Incline was back open on Monday.

There was no reported damage to the Barr Trail. Pre-evacuation notices were in place at one point but lifted after crews gained control of the fire.

Officials say someone called the Manitou Police/Fire communications center saying they could hear a man yelling “burn the forest down” moments before the fire started. Deputies are looking for a person of interest in the fire, described as a white man in his early 40s who was wearing a white t-shirt with a gray hoodie tied around the waist and wearing gray pants. If you have any information about him, call the tip line at 719-520-6666.

Picture of Incline Fire size from the air.
Picture of Incline Fire size from the air.(City of Manitou Springs)
This is the view of the fire from Crystal Park.
This is the view of the fire from Crystal Park.(Nick Kjeseth)

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