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Packed homeless shelters raise concerns in Colorado Springs

Posted at 10:08 AM, Dec 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-04 12:08:52-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Colorado Springs officials fear a growing trend of grass and brush fires caused by homeless campers will continue as local homeless shelters have become packed this winter.

According to the Colorado Springs Fire Department, the number of fires that originate from homeless camps has increased from 26 in 2014 to 94 in 2016.

The Gazette reported Sunday that this year 89 fires through Dec. 1 have been attributed to homeless campsites.

Colorado Springs police are concerned that overcrowded homeless shelters and cold winter weather will lead to more homeless people starting fires that could get out of control.

Earlier this year, one homeless man started a fire that damaged a church. Another homeless man was seriously hurt in a fire he started.