Fact-finding designed to assess planning and execution of prescribed fire that preceded the deadly Lower North Fork blaze in Jefferson County
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — William Bass, 35-year Forest Service veteran will lead the review of a Colorado State Forest Service prescribed burn that may have started the deadly 4,100-acre Lower North Fork Fire.
The Colorado State Forest conducted a prescribed fire on Denver Water land on March 22. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and state officials, a remnant of the fire was fanned back to life by strong winds on March 26, turning into an inferno that destroyed more than 20 homes and killed three people.
The state agency issued a March 28 statement on the prescribed fire, explaining that such managed fires are a critical tool for reducing fuels and describing how high winds several days after the burn spread burning embers into unburned forest.
Bass, supervisor of the Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming, is now charged with assessing the planning and execution for the prescribed burn conducted by the Colorado State Forest Service. The four-person team will collect all the relevant data, interview personnel and issue a report in about 30 days. (more…)