Black Forest Fire chief blames fire on residents not mitigating and extreme fire weather

RENO, Nevada - The Black Forest Fire Chief is blaming residents who didn't mitigate their property as one of the reasons for the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history.

Bob Harvey gave a presentation this week in Reno, Nevada at the annual Wildland Urban Interface Conference. His talk was called "Lessons Learned from the Black Forest Fire."

KRDO-TV reported that Harvey gave five reasons why the Black Forest Fire was the most destructive in Colorado history:

- Limited community participation

- Limited owner participation

- Limited resources

- Extreme fire behavior

- The built environment

KRDO reported that Harvey said the biggest obstacle after the extreme fire weather with changing winds and low humidity, was the fact residents didn't mitigate their homes and property well enough.

"We need stronger fire codes and people need to take more responsibility for mitigation and creating a survivable space," Harvey said.

Harvey also told KRDO that he has not read the entire report from the investigator hired by the Black Forest Fire Board.

The 2,000-page report fully exonerated Harvey from allegations of unprofessional behavior or misconduct, according to The Black Forest Fire/Rescue Protection District.

The fire in June 2013 burned more than 18,000 acres, destroyed 488 homes and killed two people.

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