Update: Robin and Mark Herklotz ID'd as Black Forest fire victims, 509 homes destroyed
Update: The two victims of the Black Forest fire, which sparked to life on June 11, have been ID'd as Marc Allen Herklotz, 52, and Robin Lauran Herklotz, fifty, married residents of Black Forest. The laborious identification process speaks to the horrific force of nature that took their lives.
In the meantime, the fight against the destructive blaze continues to wind down, with containment estimated at 85 percent. But the number of homes confirmed destroyed is still going up, as is the cost of the effort.
The federal Inciweb.org page devoted to the fire supplements the 85 percent containment calculation with confirmation that the size of the fire -- 14,280 -- remains unchanged since yesterday.
National Forest Service
Meanwhile, the page notes that "restrictions are in the process of being lifted in the Delta, Kilo and Whiskey divisions. Utility crews continue assessing and securing service to residences for future re-entry. El Paso County Sheriffs office continues to do assessments within the area and coordinate the reentry of residents. Excess resources are being released as incident objectives are being met. Resources continue to mop up and secure around structures to prevent further loss."
The sheriff's office assessments include cataloging those homes determined to be total losses. As noted by 9News, that sum has gone from 502 yesterday morning to the current number, 509. And authorities believe this digit will rise again before the fire is officially considered extinguished.
The end of the fire will come to late for Marc and Robin Herklotz, who were reportedly trying to flee the conflagration when it overtook them in their garage. EPCSO spokes Jeff Kramer points out that they were identified "through a cooperative effort between Forensic Odontologist Dr. Joe Gentile and El Paso County Coroner Dr. Robert Bux and his staff."
The latest Black Forest fire perimeter map.
Both Mark and Robin were reportedly members of the Air Force Space Command at Schriever Air Force Base. The unit's commander, General William L. Shelton, released a statement about their passing that reads in part, "The men and women of Air Force Space Command are saddened by the loss of these two members of our AFSPC family. I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Marc and Robin during this very difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you."
We echo these words.
As for the expense incurred while putting out the fire, it's now reached a staggering $8.5 million. And the meter hasn't stopped running.
Continue for our previous coverage of the Black Forest fire (and Royal Gorge fire), including photos, videos, documents and more.