MONTE VISTA — Fire officials have estimated that 15 structures were lost or damaged in Wednesday's fire, April 20, in Monte Vista, reported the Monte Vista Police Department on Thursday.
MVPD Police Chief George Dingfelder said fire personnel and law enforcement made significant progress Thursday, April 21, in their investigation of the Monte Vista fire, which started around 12:15 p.m. on April 20. The fire burned a 17-acre area from Truman Street to the west and north of Newcomb Street to the east of Washington Street.
Over the course of the day, fire investigators and members of the Rio Grande County Assessor’s Office were able to complete an initial damage assessment of structures and document vehicles lost in the fire. They currently estimate structures lost or damaged at 15, this includes homes and outbuildings. A final report documenting total structures and estimated dollar amount will not be available for several weeks, Dingfelder said.
Officers with the Monte Vista Police Department and agents with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and fire inspectors with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control are working diligently to identify the point of origin and cause of the fire.
"To reiterate, while it is early in the investigation, cause and origin are still unknown but once the investigation is complete it will be forwarded to the 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office," Dingfelder said.
After consultation with fire personnel and investigators, the evacuation area was released and restrictions on the area were removed at 3 p.m. Investigators continue to work a focal point just north of Acequia and west of Jefferson, on the west side of the trailer park, Dingfelder said.
Unless other significant changes in the investigation occur, this will be the last update until early next week, Dingfelder added.
"Thank you for your patience as we have worked through this difficult time for our community and please continue to support those who were directly impacted by this fire," Dingfelder said.