Transcript: Interview with Undersheriff Paula Presley

Paula Presley: Where it started and the day that this fire began we didn't have any storms. You know, there had been some started the previous week and the weeks prior to that from lightening. On that particular day there were no reports of lightening so that was something that we-certainly we haven't ruled anything out at this point in time but it's not believe to be the case. So certainly we can't really speculate, we can't say exactly what happened what the cause of this was but anytime we have a fire of undetermined origin, we're going to treat it as an arson. To investigate it. To ensure that it is thoroughly investigated and we get to the point of the origin and make sure that either rule out arson or determine that it is arson and continue the investigation from that point on.

Alex Perez: As a member of law enforcement you know you you look that all the work that fire fighters are putting in, you look at all the damage, isn't it upsetting that somebody would intentionally possibly do something like this?

Paula Presley: Absolutely. You know people I don't think really understand the devastation that they can cause you know and you know it can be as simple as throwing out a cigarette. Often cases, often times that's not the case that they are intentionally setting a fire and you know, I think most of us question why anybody would do that you know realizing the potential here especially in the national forest when you know that fire can spread so quickly and of course we've seen the devastation of this. I mean were not just talking about you know the land and the forest. I mean this fire has spread over 18,000 miles or I'm sorry, 18,000 acres, and now you know multiple homes have been destroyed within the city of Colorado Springs. No one would anticipate that happening especially when we look at the fire starting here in Waldo Canyon. Were surrounded by national forest. There are homes up here not directly off of this trail but there are homes in the area but no one would have had any I guess idea that this would have spread all the way to the north end of Colorado Springs down into you know densely populated neighborhoods and destroy multiple homes on streets there.

Alex Perez: And you, for you you're not only a member of law enforcement here and you want to make sure this situation is solved but you grew up here so this has got to be tough?

Paula Presley: Absolutely, I'm a native here. I've never seen anything like this. We've never had certainly we've had forest fires and some of those were related to arson, some of those we're accidental, some of those were from natural causes like lightening.

Paula Presley: Never have seen a fire like this in Colorado Springs. This is devastating.

Alex Perez: As you've been watching things and obviously you have teams working, you're watching everyone what are some of the things that have been going through your mind?

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