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Fire near Manitou Incline started in homeless camp, police say

Investigators spoke with Scott Tincher, 49, who was identified as a person of interest in the fire.
Credit: Colorado Springs Police Department

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — Investigators with the Manitou Springs Police Department (MSPD) and the multi-agency Regional Explosives Unit (REU) have spoken with the person of interest they were looking for as they worked to determine the cause of a fire near the Manitou Incline earlier this month. 

Detectives determined that the fire originated in a homeless encampment that was concealed in the trees on the side of the mountain near Barr Trail, CSPD said.

According to a release from the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD), 49-year-old Scott Tincher learned he was a person of interest in the Incline Fire on Oct. 17 and spoke with investigators. 

The release said MSPD and REU are still trying to determine whether the fire was a criminal act. No one has been charged at this time, according to the release.

CSPD said the fire started on the afternoon of Oct. 8 on the lower part of Barr Trail near the Manitou Incline. Multiple agencies responded to the fire.

While the fire was believed to be human-caused, investigators had not yet determined what specifically started the fire because of the large amount of flammable materials that were kept at the camp, according to CSPD. Those items included materials for building campfires, propane tanks and e-cigarettes. 

RELATED: People want to climb the Incline so bad they're protesting its closure by voluntarily hiking it

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The Manitou Incline is a popular spot for hiking enthusiasts looking for a challenge. With 2,744 steps, it gains more than 2,000 feet of elevation over less than a mile, according to the Visit Colorado Springs website. 

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