(COLORADO SPRINGS) — At the Oct. 25 El Paso Board of County Commissioners meeting, fire chiefs in El Paso County called for action after the homeless camp fire on B Street, saying they fear the next big wildfire could be caused by one of the many homeless camps in the region.
After the B Street fire that occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 10th that burned several vehicles and displaced five people. The El Paso County Fire Chief’s council spoke in front of the County Commissioners.
“The El Paso County Fire Chief’s council is very concerned our next big county fire conflagration will start from another unregulated and unsafe homeless camp. Lives will be lost, and then it will be too late,” said Shawn Bittle, Fire Chief of Stratmoor Hills Fire Protection District.
Fire Chiefs said that homeless camp fires take up valuable time and resources that fire departments can’t afford to lose. They expressed concern that the next big wildfire could be caused by one of the many homeless camps in the region. The Chiefs said that as they don’t have any power over Code Enforcement, they needed the County’s help.
“I, along with my fellow chiefs around the county, have multiple decades in the fire service, and we believe the staggering homeless epidemic in El Paso county is one of the largest threats to public safety we have witnessed throughout our careers,” said Bittle.
The County Commissioners all agreed, something needed to be done, and they’ll work with the fire chiefs in the future to address the issue.