US Forest Service: Cause of East Troublesome Fire remains undetermined |

US Forest Service: Cause of East Troublesome Fire remains undetermined

Eli Pace
SkyHi News
The East Troublesome Fire as seen from Cottonwood Pass on Oct. 21 as the fire ripped across Grand County.
Photo by Andrew Lussie / U.S. Forest Service

Officials with the U.S. Forest Service are refuting reports that they’re close to pinpointing what or who caused the massive East Troublesome Fire in Grand County.

On Friday, a U.S. Forest Service spokesperson reiterated that the investigation has revealed the fire was “human caused” but said there is no word yet on exactly what started the deadly blaze.

“There is no update to the investigation,” the spokesperson said. “The investigation is still in progress.”

Multiple people have contacted the Sky-Hi News in recent days saying that investigators are close to filing charges. However, the Forest Service spokesperson said investigators are still interviewing potential witnesses and gathering information and that they are not making any announcements about a cause at the moment.

The spokesperson added that the Forest Service, which is handling the investigation, does not have any new information.

The fire was reported Oct. 14 and remained relatively small until Oct. 21, when the fire raced over 100,000 acres in a day, quickly threatening the town of Grand Lake and destroying hundreds of homes and buildings in the surrounding area.

The fire soon grew into Rocky Mountain National Park, burning more than 27 square miles in the park, and spot fires jumped the Continental Divide approaching Estes Park before they were contained. Snowfall on Oct. 24 quieted the flames, but the destruction was widespread.

Altogether, the fire burned almost 200,000 acres, making it the largest in Grand County and second biggest in Colorado. Two people were killed in the blaze.

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