Was Sunshine Fire a terrorist act in retaliation for BOHO ending its nightly homeless overflow shelter?


By Max R. Weller

The timing seems very suspicious to me; Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow ends nightly sheltering for over 100 transients (3/15/2017 was the last night this season, before BOHO switched to weather-dependent criteria for opening), and just 3 nights later the Sunshine Fire erupts in an area well-known for bum campsites. I think the FBI should be called into the case for two reasons: 1) We have a lot of mentally ill transients coming here from all over America, and 2) Self-styled homeless advocates are constantly reinforcing the paranoia of homeless people in Boulder, CO and preaching that society is picking on them. This could possibly have been a deliberate act of domestic terrorism intended to extort more millions of $$$ for transient shelters / services run by local nonprofits who operate by the creed More Homeless People = More Money. The FBI might start by interviewing BOHO’s board of directors, and see where it leads . . .


Read the Daily Camera report: Sunshine Fire west of Boulder likely human-caused; 50% contained. Copied below in its entirety:

The Sunshine Fire that erupted early Sunday morning west of Boulder, scorching 62 acres and prompting more than 400 homes to be evacuated in the pre-dawn hours, appears to be human-caused.

“The general area where the fire was reported — Sunshine Canyon and Timber Trail — is a very social trail network,” Boulder County sheriff’s Cmdr. Mike Wagner said during a press briefing, adding that other causes such as downed power lines and lightning had been ruled out.

“There are a lot of people in and out of there,” he said. “We know there are a lot of transient camps in that area.”

Boulder County’s last major wildfire, 2016’s Cold Springs Fire near Nederland, was started by campers who hadn’t properly extinguished their campfire.

Emergency officials announced Sunday evening that the Sunshine Fire was 50 percent contained.

About 45 firefighters and 15 trucks were expected to monitor the fire containment overnight, with additional crews due in the morning to “hit it hard,” officials said.

There were some fears expressed Sunday evening that overnight firefighting efforts might be hampered by high winds expected around midnight.

Wagner said that 426 homes in the area would remain under a mandatory evacuation order, and officials would reevaluate the evacuations on Monday morning. He said the evacuations were necessary because fire crews would be limited as to what they can do overnight.

Another 836 homes in the city of Boulder, mostly around the mouth of Boulder Canyon, remain on pre-evacuation alert as well.

“Things get exponentially more complex in the dark,” he said. “They’re hoping they can keep control of it overnight and really start mopping up tomorrow.”

The East Boulder Community Center opened up as a shelter for any residents who didn’t have somewhere else to stay because of the evacuations.

Among those forced to leave their homes was Anne Spalding, who came to the Boulder County Justice Center for an update on the status of the evacuations Sunday afternoon.

Spalding said she was staying at her sister’s house, but there was a possibility that her sister also would be evacuated. She said she has received offers from friends with places to stay should that happen.

“It’s really close to my house,” Spalding said. “We didn’t even get a call. We had firefighters knocking on the door. They are doing a fabulous job. It’s a little scary. We put our hearts into our homes.”

Spalding said she has been evacuated before and was “a little more tempermental about it” the first time around, but she grabbed her stuff and left with no argument Sunday morning.

“It’s a bummer,” she said. “I’d rather be at my house in bed, but I have a lot of faith in the firefighters. I think it’s going to be OK. I’m being cautiously optimistic.”

The fire was first reported at about 1:40 a.m. Sunday by a man who said he saw flames near Sunshine Canyon and Timber Lane.

Throughout the day Sunday, about 250 firefighters and 50 firefighting vehicles were deployed to the area, and used the Boulder County Justice Center parking lot in west Boulder as a base of operations.

Seven aircraft took to the skies above the fire, including two Black Hawk helicopters and two Chinook helicopters. Monday, Wagner said, they’re expecting a reduction in air support and a smaller helicopter that can drop water in tighter spaces.

Wagner said firefighters will focus on digging lines around the fire.

“The main strategy is to keep it within the perimeter,” he said.

Fire officials had been expecting a rough day because of high temperatures and windy weather. Because March is outside the typical fire season, Wagner said, there also were fewer wildfire hand crews available to help, so firefighters were being taken off trucks to form hand crews.

After a relatively calm morning, winds began to pick up around 10 a.m., with gusts in the 40 mph range reported in the afternoon.

Sunday’s high in Boulder reached 78 degrees, breaking the old record of 77 from 2004, according to local meteorologist Matt Kelsch.

The National Weather Service was forecasting more warm, windy and dry weather that will keep the fire danger high today.

Mappers reported the fire to be 106 acres at one point on Sunday, but Gabi Boerkircher, a spokeswoman for the Boulder Office of Emergency Management, said crews on the ground determined the fire was closer to 60 acres.

Mid-afternoon, emergency officials also revised the number of homes evacuated in the Sunshine Canyon area to 426, down from the 1,031 that sheriff’s officials had announced before dawn.

Denise White, another spokeswoman with the Boulder Office of Emergency Management, said more than 1,000 people were contacted by phone in the early morning hours, but many lived in the same house.

Boulder Canyon was closed to the public most of the day Sunday but had been reopened to traffic in the evening.

Some residents in the pre-evacuation zone in the Highland neighborhood were watching the fire from Eben G. Fine Park on Sunday morning and waiting to see whether the wind picked up before packing.

Ben Egner said that while he hadn’t packed anything yet, he had a list in his head that included musical instruments, books, his hard drive and his dog, Petunia.

He said he found out about the fire after getting a text from a neighbor early Sunday morning.

For another neighbor, Beth Prehn, it was a phone call from a friend at 5:30 a.m. that alerted her. At about 7 a.m., she took a picture of flames lighting up Sunshine Canyon.

“That was scary,” she said.

Later, looking at smoke instead of flames, “I feel a lot better,” she said.

Photo from thedenverchannel.com 

Comments from Daily Camera Facebook page:

Would some small scale control burns in the middle of winter help this situation on the front range? I am sure there has been a lot of discussion around this. It seems like it would control the spread of fire during the summer?

(Reply) What would help more is to control the bums wandering around drunk and stoned in the mountains.


What would help most of all is for Boulder City Council to require that local nonprofits render aid only to homeless people with valid photo ID showing a Boulder County address, and proof of at least one year’s residency. Transients from elsewhere could be given bus tickets on RTD bound for Denver (where many of them lived previously) and sack lunches to-go.

(This post e-mailed to Boulder City Council.)


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