Black Forest residents mark four years since fire started

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Sunday marked four years since the Black Forest Fire started.

The 2013 wildfire killed two people, burned more than 14,000 acres, and destroyed more than 500 homes. It was the most destructive fire in the state’s history, surpassing the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire.

A ceremony was held Sunday afternoon at Log School Park. Survivors came together to reflect on life four years after the smoke settled.

“We cried together, we laughed together, and people moved forward, and I think that’s the essence of what being a survivor is all about,” said Laura Benjamin, who lost her home in the fire. “You can’t go through life as a victim. If things happen to you that you would wish otherwise, you can’t stay in a victim place. It immobilizes you. It freezes you. You can’t make anything better when you’re staying in a victim mindset.”

Continued mitigation efforts and a tree-planting program are working to recover the charred land.

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