Cascade II fire cause remains a mystery |

Cascade II fire cause remains a mystery

A Glenwood Springs wildfire that came to a soggy end continues to have mysterious beginnings.Investigators never were able to determine the cause of the Cascade II fire, which burned about 35 acres in the Cascade Creek area near the No Name Tunnels of Interstate 70 in late September.Kristi Ponozzo, a U.S. Forest Service spokesperson, said it’s not unusual for a fire’s origins to remain unknown.”There are a lot of fires that we never can figure out what started them,” she said.Some causes are obvious, such as a campfire or arsonist, she said. “But if there’s something really small, it’s kind of hard to figure out.”The Cascade II fire began close to the bike path in Glenwood Canyon, so it may have been human-caused, said Ponozzo. But nothing suspicious points to that.The fire started Sept. 26 and was contained within a few days, with the help of a heavy rainstorm. It cost $121,336 to fight, requiring not only ground firefighting crews but air support from tankers and at least one helicopter.About 90 percent of the cost is being borne by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and the rest by the city of Glenwood Springs. The fire was partly on city land.No one was injured by the fire, and no structures were threatened. The bike path and a lane of westbound Interstate 70 were temporarily closed, due to the threat of rockfall where the fire had burned in steep terrain.

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