Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Investigation of Colorado Gulch Fire continues

Sheriff’s Office teams with BLM to determine possible charges

Express Staff Writer

The Colorado Gulch Fire burns toward a house in Croy Canyon on Sunday, July 6. Photo by Jason Kindred

    The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office is working with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to determine if, what and where criminal charges might be filed in connection with last week’s Colorado Gulch Fire west of Hailey.
    “We have a suspect and we know it was started by fireworks,” Sheriff Gene Ramsey said Tuesday. “I think we’re pretty well done with our interviews, but we’re still waiting for a BLM determination of where the fire started, whether there was more than one starting point and how did it spread.”
    The suspect Ramsey mentioned is an 18-year-old Blaine County man, but Ramsey said the investigation is not limited to just one person. He has thus far declined to identify the prime suspect.

I want to get a resolution on this, and I think the community wants a resolution.”
Gene Ramsey

    “It’s always been our policy to not name someone until we charge them,” the sheriff said.
    Ramsey said that after BLM completes its “forensic investigation” that the two agencies will meet to determine what charges might be warranted and whether they would be filed in state or federal court.
    “Until we have that joint meeting, I don’t want to jump the gun,” Ramsey said. If it is determined that state charges should be filed, information will be forwarded to the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for a final determination.
    “I want to get a resolution on this, and I think the community wants a resolution,” the sheriff said.
    The fire started the evening of Sunday, July 6, about three miles west of Hailey. It was brought under control within a few days but consumed 728 acres of sagebrush and grasslands. Ramsey reported earlier that the fire started on private property but spread to and mostly burned on BLM lands.
Terry Smith:

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