North Fork Fire Report Released

A report reviewing how a prescribed burn created the Lower North Fork (CO) wildfire has been released.

CW 2 Colorado ( highlights the factors and recommendations below:


  • Hot spots from the fire remained four days after the initial burn
  • Normal best practices, including a 200-foot buffer around the burn, didn't work
  • Weather and fire behavior forecasts did not sufficiently predict the complete set of circumstances
  • Rapidly escalating winds created spot firs that exceeded what firefighters on the ground could handle


  • Improve weather information and fire-danger rating systems to make sure fire management agencies have accurate data
  • Improve Colorado State Forest Service mop-up standards to make sure prescribed burns don't re-ignite
  • Consider using technical reviewer for more complex prescribed burns, especially those covering multiple jurisdictions

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