News Release: Colorado Department of Public Safety Releases Elkhorn Creek Unit #4 Prescribed Fire Review Executive Summary​

 

For more information, contact:

Caley Fisher | caley.fisher@state.co.us | 720-391-1565

 

March 2, 2020 - The Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS) Compliance and Professional Standards Office held a public meeting with the Livermore and Glacier View communities yesterday, March 1, to discuss the main findings from a review of the Elkhorn Creek Unit #4 Prescribed Fire, which escaped and became a wildfire on Oct. 16, 2019.

 

CDPS plans to release a full report on the review and its findings within the next two weeks. 

 

“What we found was that this escape was the result of a variety of complex factors — some factors that are probably common at a lot of prescribed fires, but which compounded over a very short matter of time on Oct. 16 to lead to this wildfire,” said Bobbie Mooney, the CDPS compliance officer who led the review team. “We hope agencies that plan and implement prescribed fires will read the upcoming review and apply the lessons learned and recommendations to their own practices in order to improve safety in Colorado.”

 

The review is the first to be conducted in response to legislation passed in 2013 that requires a formal review following the escape of any prescribed fire. Per statute, the purpose of the review is to “identify the factors that contributed to the escape... in an effort to reduce the occurrence [of] or prevent future escapes.” 

 

In order to ensure objectivity in the review process, the Director of the Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) within CDPS requested that the Compliance and Professional Standards Office lead the review utilizing subject matter experts who were not involved in the prescribed fire under review. The review team included a meteorologist with expertise in weather as it relates to fires; an expert in fuels, fire behavior, and fire operations from the U.S. Forest Service; and a private ranch forester who is a prescribed fire expert. 

 

The executive summary can be found on the DFPC Website: Elkhorn Creek Unit #4 Prescribed Fire Review

 

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