Cause of Black Forest fire unknown, sheriff says

Black Forest Fire 1
Fire crowns in the trees in the Black Forest area north of Colorado Springs, Colo.

The cause of one of the most destructive fires in state history may never be known, according to a report from the El Paso County Sheriff’s office.

Natural causes were ruled out for last year's Black Forest fire, according to the report, but a search for evidence and suspects was fruitless.

The report says the origin point of the fire was examined extensively by wildfire experts, and detectives followed up on more than 200 leads.

“Unfortunately, none provided definitive evidence of how the fire started or who
was responsible,” states the report.

The Black Forest fire killed two people, burned more than 14,000 acres, and destroyed 489 homes north of Colorado Springs in 2013.

“[W]hen you have that kind of damage, it’s not unusual to have physical evidence be so destroyed or just unrecognizable,” said private fire investigator Kirk Schmitt.

The sheriff’s office says it has concluded its investigation pending new leads or evidence.