Report on prescribed fire planning and execution expected in two weeks
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with William Bass, supervisor of the Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming, a team set to review the prescribed Colorado State Forest Service fire that may have sparked the deadly Lower North Fork wildfire will include some of the country’s top wildfire experts.
The team includes Francisco (Frankie) Romero, an applied fire ecologist who overseas the Forest Service’s prescribed fire program. Romero will serve as the fire behavior analyst. In his Forest Service position Romero is responsible for policy updates, agency-wide workforce planning and training; monitoring program accomplishments and performance including escaped prescribed fires agency-wide. Romero’s review experience includes the Salt Fire Shelter Deployment Review, and the Breaks One Escape Prescribed Fire.
Tom Zimmerman will be the planning section chief. Zimmerman retired in 2011 after more than 32 tears years with the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Zimmerman has served on 17 major reviews including Cerro Grande, Twin Prescribed Fire and the South Canyon Fire.
The review team’s operations chief will be Dave Hamrick, who has served as the north zone fire management officer for the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests’ Canyon Lakes Ranger District and Pawnee National Grassland since 2007.
“The review team will bring in other experts as the need arises, said team leader Bass. “The primary focus of this review will be to analyze and study the events associated with the Lower North Fork Prescribed Fire,” Bass said. “Valuable information will be garnered by performing this review.”
The Team’s work will include a comparative analysis of the prescribed fire burn plan that was utilized by the Colorado State Forest Service and the plan’s implementation. Other factors that will be reviewed include: Weather information, forecasts that were used and the fire behavior predictions used. Once the team completes the review, a report will be delivered to the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.
“The steps we are taking in this review process will result in a factual understanding of the Lower North Fork Prescribed Fire,” said Bass.