December 31, 2013

Wildfire Investigations and the Rumor Mill

Two weeks ago I was emailing back and forth with a reporter friend about the still-undisclosed cause of the Royal Gorge Fire last June in Frémont County.

It seems that the feds still have not said anything—she got the usual "bureaucratic syrup" (full of empty calories) from a Bureau of Land Management spokesman: "The cause of the fire is still an active and on-going investigation."

So does that mean that it is a criminal investigation? And if so, why not say so?

The conventional wisdom is that the 2013 Waldo Canyon Fire was started by an escaped campfire, but no one has been fingered for setting it. (Hard to catch them, I realize.) That same summer there was a string of small arson-caused wildfires in nearby Teller County as well.

And last summer's big Black Forest Fire started at a private home—but how?

No wonder rumors are flying, or as the Colorado Springs Gazette recently headined, "Languishing Colorado wildfire investigations feed rumor mill."

All they can say for Black Forest is,
No obvious accelerant were uncovered in the evidence collect from the place where the Black Forest fire started, just one of multiple clues that have pushed investigators to lean toward a conclusion that fire was accidentally started.
Instead we see a lot of coverage of the Black Forest fire chief and the El Paso County sheriff having a pissing contest in the news media.

Government "public information" at its finest . . .

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