Cleanup of Monte Vista Fire began May 27

Photos by Brian Williams Cleanup of the Monte Vista Fire began on Friday, May 27, with heavy equipment working at the intersection of Acequia Drive and Euclid Street.

MONTE VISTA — Cleanup of the Monte Vista Fire began on Friday, May 27, with heavy equipment working at the intersection of Acequia Drive and Euclid Street. 

Homes here burned to the ground in the April 20 fire that covered 17 acres and destroyed or damaged 15 structures between West Sickles Street and Acequia Drive in north Monte Vista. 

The City of Monte Vista has been coordinating the cleanup with the respective land and homeowners and announced on Friday, May 27, that it was beginning. 

“The City cannot thank Cooley and Sons Excavating and RMS Utilities enough for providing these services to those affected,” city officials stated in a press release. 

Cooley and Sons Excavating will be the first on the scene, city officials explained and asked the public to give them space to work.

“We ask that our residents and the motoring public please be aware and provide Mr. Cooley and his team safe passage and limit the time spent in area so they can efficiently complete their tasks,” city officials stated. “Please be aware that their trucks will be using the roads in and near the fire burn area to transport debris to the landfill.” 

The cause was due to “trash or rubbish burning” on the east side of Absolute Shine, an auto body repair shop in the 800 block of Acequia Drive, the Monte Vista Police Department reported on May 11.  

Monte Vista Police Department Sgt. Michael Martinez said the department had concluded its investigation into the fire and met on Monday, May 9, with 12th Judicial District Attorney Alonzo Payne. 

“From here I believe the district attorney’s office will make some type of public statement about their decision in reference to the criminal portion of the case,” Martinez said on May 11. “We did investigate this as a possible criminal case. But the decision for charges and liabilities is not up to my entity, it is up to the office of the district attorney.” 

A wind-driven fire broke out shortly before noon on April 20. Resources from throughout the San Luis Valley and the state responded to the fire and worked well into the night containing the blaze. 

The cost of fighting the fire and total damage in dollars were still being determined. 

Photos by Brian Williams Cleanup of the Monte Vista Fire began on Friday, May 27, with heavy equipment working at the intersection of Acequia Drive and Euclid Street.


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