The U.S. Forest Service announced Friday that investigators determined that the East Troublesome Fire was human caused.
“Given the location and time of year that the fire started, it may have been caused by a hunter or backcountry camper, and possibly by accident,” according to a written release from the Forest Service.
Investigators with the Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations division, with help from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, continue to investigate the fire that sparked Oct. 14, 2020 and ultimately burned 193,812 acres, destroyed 366 of homes and 214 other structures and led to the deaths of two people when the fire overtook their home just outside of Grand Lake.
The release said that both agencies continue to actively investigate the fire and are working to identify the person or persons responsible.
The fire, one of the largest in Colorado’s history, began northeast of Kremmling on the Arapaho National Forest and burned into Grand Lake and into Rocky Mountain National Park, fueled by drought, high winds, dry conditions, low humidity and downed beetle-killed trees, the Forest Service reports.
The blaze, which was contained on Nov. 30, 2020, burned at the same time as the Cameron Peak Fire in Larimer County, which charred 208,913 acres and destroyed 469 structures. Cameron Peak sparked Aug. 13 and was contained on Dec. 2, becoming the largest wildfire in the state’s history.
The cause of the Cameron Peak Fire, which originated 15 miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes, is still under investigation. No specifics have been released, and Forest Service officials on Friday said in an email “there is no new information on the Cameron Peak Fire investigation.”