Records Hidden in Colorado Wildfire
The Colorado State Forest Service has refused to release a report of plans for the prescribed burn that preceded the deadly and devasting wildfire near Denver.
At least two people have died and a third is missing in the wildfire, which is still burning outside Conifer.
This reporter was told to file a request for the plan under the Colorado Open Records law.
Many questions are being raised about why the burn was launched during a very dry period when strong winds had been reported. Winds of up to 100 mph were reported earlier this month, and they were strong enough in Denver to knock large trees down.
The deputy state forester initially said he had never heard of embers restarting a blaze almost a week after a prescribed burn. Records show that many such wildfires, including in Colorado, have started because prescribed burns got out of control.
Later he conceded the prescribed burn had started the fire, which resulted in 27 homes burning and nearly 1,000 being evacuated.
Questions also are being raised about why homeowners were not notified sooner, even a couple of hours might have saved lives.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, which was responsible for such warnings, allowed some homeowners to return to their lodgings today even though the fire was still burning.