COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey told an afternoon news conference that a second body was found Friday in the rubble of a home at 2910 Rossmere St. destroyed by the Waldo Canyon Fire in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs.
One body was found at the address last night, and Carey said today the remains of another person were also found there Friday morning. He did not identify the two or give any other information.
At 8 p.m., a large number of evacuations were being lifted. Cedar Heights residents were told they can return at 9 p.m., although they remain on pre-evacuation alert. Residents of Glen Eyrie, Rockrimmon and much of the area east of Centennial was open immediately, officials announced, but are also under a pre-evacuation notice. No estimate was available on how many people were headed home.
The city also announced that a complete preliminary property assessment had been posted at www.springsgov.com.
U.S. 24 remains closed.
Colorado Springs officials also said Friday afternoon that bus tours on Sunday will take people whose homes burned to see their residences. Those people — estimated to be 4,000 — won't be able to get out and walk around, but the will be able to see, Steve Cox, assistant to the Colorado Springs mayor, told the news conference. Officials released a map and exact addresses online this evening.
He said there were no new numbers for burned homes and no change to the mandatory evacuation areas.
Containment of the fire moved up to 25 percent on Friday, said U.S. Forest Service supervisor Jeri Marr.
"We've still got a long way to go," Jerri Marr said. "But we're making progress."
Incident commander Rich Harvey said crews on Friday set back burns to work on the containment line, creating a column of smoke on the western side of the fire. He said firefighters held acreage the same. He said the cost of fighting the fire is now $6.2 million.
City officials announced Friday morning they will open a disaster recovery center Saturday at 105 N. Spruce to help people who have lost their homes and those still evacuated.
The Waldo Canyon Fire started June 23 and has scorched 16,750 acres. It has burned 347 homes and killed at least one person.
Some 81 percent of the homes in the Mountain Shadows area were saved, Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown said.
The widespread fire in the mountains and foothills west and north of Colorado Springs is threatening 20,085 residences and 160 businesses.
The cause of the blaze has not been released, but an FBI team has joined the investigation.
Jeff Kramer of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said the U.S. Forest Service has a "cause and origin specialist" on site now who is waiting to get to the area where the fire started.
The cost of fighting the fire is about $5.2 million, according to the fire command. President Obama declared Colorado a federal disaster area overnight Friday, which unleashes federal resources and dollars.
Residents of Cascade, Chipita Park, Green Mountain Falls, Crystola and parts of Woodland Park and northwest Colorado Springs are still under mandatory evacuations. The neighborhoods of Cedar Heights, Pinon Valley, Mountain Shadow, Perregrine, Rockrimmon and housing areas of the Air Force Academy are also evacuated.
At one point 32,000 people were evacuated; some neighborhoods were allowed to go home Thursday evening.
Friday morning Carey said that there are fewer than 10 people who haven't been accounted for from the evacuation area.
On Friday morning Douglas County lifted all of its pre-evacuation notices.
The Red Cross has set up evacuation centers at Lewis Palmer High School, 1300 Higby, Monument; Cheyenne Mountain High School, 1200 Cresta Road, Colorado Springs; Southeast YMCA , 2190 Jet Wing Drive, Colorado Springs; and Summit Elementary School, 490 Meadow Park Dr., Divide.
U.S. Highway 24 is closed between Cave of the Winds and the El Paso and Teller County line.