‘Questions, unease linger for residents living in Cold Springs Fire burn area’


By Max R. Weller

Read the report in the Daily Camera. Excerpt copied below:

Evacuee Kipp Nash takes a cellphone photograph of his neighbors’ burned house on Bonanza Drive after gathering belongings from his home July 13 after

Evacuee Kipp Nash takes a cellphone photograph of his neighbors’ burned house on Bonanza Drive after gathering belongings from his home July 13 after being displaced by the Cold Springs Fire in Nederland. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

More than a month after Nederland-area residents had their lives turned upside down by the Cold Springs Firethe devastating 528-acre wildfire that police suspect was caused by two Alabama campers that destroyed eight homes and forced the evacuation of nearly 2,000 people — those who live in and around the burn area have begun to put their lives back together.

A neighborhood meeting for the residents who live within the Cold Springs Fire burn zone was held Monday. The goal of the meeting focused on issues that pertain to living within the burn area.

Concern for residents at Monday’s meeting included the removal of burnt trees, well-water testing, revegetation, flood risk, emotional trauma and wildfire mitigation.

“I’m sure people are feeling a little nervous since the fire,” said Gary Sanfacon, Cold Springs Fire and flood recovery manager. “Whenever I feel increased wind, see a big plane overhead or smoke over at my neighbor’s house, I know I get a little on edge.”


Eight homes worth about $2.43 million burned in the fire, according to officials. Two Alabama men — Jimmy Andrew Suggs, 28, and Zackary Ryan Kuykendall, 26 — are believed to have started the fire and were formally charged with arson.

The area where Suggs and Kuykendall were camping and reportedly started a campfire is visible from Sugarloaf and Peak to Peak Highway. Swathes of blackened trees punctuated by patches of untouched foliage and orange fire retardant stains stretched up and then away from a nearby ridge.

Three of the eight homes that burned in the fire were on Ridge Road, but the smoldering foundation of one home stood in contrast to a home just up the road still standing untouched amid a mess of singed trees and scorched earth.

Outside of the physical damage yielded from the wildfire was the trauma caused by disaster, a result officials on Monday encouraged residents to examine . . .

Fire investigators and sheriff’s detectives say the fire originated at an illegal campsite on private property near the intersection of Peak to Peak Highway and Cold Springs Road.

The Alabama men had established a campfire overnight Thursday into Friday morning, the sheriff’s office reported, but Suggs and Kuykendall “did not ensure that the fire was properly extinguished by dousing it with water, or making sure the ashes were cool to the touch before leaving the site.”

Elizabeth Burdeshaw, 21, who was with Suggs and Kuykendall, has been ticketed for trespassing. But Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said in July that investigators were looking into whether Burdeshaw should also be charged with arson.

It is believed, the sheriff’s office added, that high winds in the area — combined with the weather that had hovered above 90 degrees for much of the weekend — allowed the fire to smolder longer than it might have otherwise.

One response by Nederland area residents has been to join Peak to Peak Forest Watch, a group working closely with law enforcement and which functions like a “neighborhood watch” in urban areas. It now has 593 members and counting. The Homeless Philosopher is a member, and offers his insights to the group on the worst-behaved transients who have no ties to Boulder County, CO but cause so many problems here.


Near 11th & Pearl in downtown Boulder.

Whether they want to admit it or not, Boulder’s nonprofits enable the BUMS from all over America, and I believe it’s because their unspoken and unwritten creed is More Homeless People = More Money.

Please remember this the next time they ask you to donate to their less-than-worthy cause.



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