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Wildfire

Deadly East Troublesome fire was human caused, authorities say, possibly by hunter or camper

The U.S. Forest Service says that they made the determination "based on evidence gathered at the fire's origin" north of Kremmling

Evacuees flee the East Troublesome Fire in Granby, Colorado, on Oct. 21, 2020. (Eli Pace, Sky Hi News)

The East Troublesome fire, which in October 2020 killed two people as it torched nearly 200,000 acres and destroyed scores of homes in Grand County, was caused by a human or humans, authorities said Friday.

The U.S. Forest Service says that they made the determination “based on evidence gathered at the fire’s origin” north of Kremmling. The agency did not elaborate on the evidence its investigators found.

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“Given the location and time of year that the fire started, it may have been caused by a hunter or a backcountry camper — and possibly by accident,” the Forest Service said in a news release. “Investigators from both (the Forest Service and the Grand County Sheriff’s Office) are working to identify the person or persons responsible for starting the fire. The investigation is still active.”

The East Troublesome fire was one of the largest fires in Colorado history.

It exploded across Grand County during a windstorm on Oct. 21, 2020, sweeping through the area around Grand Lake and even reaching into Rocky Mountain National Park. The spread that day totaled roughly 100,000 acres.

Lyle and Marilyn Hileman died in the fire. Their bodies were found in what little was left of their home near Grand Lake.



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