Investigation into Monte Vista Fire continues

Photo by Brian Williams A fire burned 17 acres and 15 structures in north Monte Vista on April 20.

MONTE VISTA — Investigators with the Monte Vista Police Department, Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continue to process evidence and conduct interviews related to the Monte Vista Fire on April 20. 

The fire was reported at about 12:15 p.m. on April 20. It burned 17 acres in a residential area of north Monte Vista between Acequia Drive and West Sickles Street. Fifteen structures were burned or destroyed by the flames. No one was injured in the fire. 

While the investigation continues to move forward, investigators have collected photos, videos and statements, and are processing and reviewing them for further details, reported MVPD Police Chief George Dingfelder on Tuesday, April 26. 

Early in the investigation, an investigator with the BLM, who specializes in wildland fire investigation joined the investigation and has been instrumental in helping focus on the origin and cause of fire, Dingfelder stated. 

“Having the expertise of a wildland fire investigator (BLM), along with a fire investigator from the DFPC and agents from CBI assisting our investigator brings a level of technical expertise to ensure all aspects of the investigation are covered,” Dingfelder stated. 

Once this investigation is completed, which is expected to take a couple more weeks at a minimum, it will be provided to the 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office for review. 

There is no change currently in the number of lost structures as was provided by the Rio Grande County Assessor’s office and an estimate of the cost of damage has not yet been tallied.   

The City of Monte Vista, Rio Grande County, the San Luis Valley Victim’s Advocate Unit, and many other entities continue to provide support to the victims and those affected by the fire. 

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