Victims of escaped prescribed fire in Colorado receiving settlement checks

Ann Appel
Ann Appel, killed in her home during the Lower North Fork Fire. Photo courtesy of the Appel family.

More than two years after the Lower North Fork prescribed fire escaped southwest of Denver and destroyed 22 homes, burned 4,140 acres, and killed three local residents at their homes, compensation payments have been mailed to the people impacted by the disaster. After it was revealed that Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources violated their own policies while conducting the prescribed fire, state lawmakers changed the immunity law which had capped their liability at $600,000. According to Denver’s Channel 7:

The largest settlement, $4,779,480, went to Scott Appel and the estate of his wife, Ann Appel [who was killed in the fire]. She told her husband she was ready to leave, but the Appel household never got a reverse notification about evacuations and neighbors told Scott Appel that by the time the call went out, they believe the Appel property was on fire. The family of Sam and Linda Lucas [who were also killed] were allotted $1,306,895.

The total compensation for all of the people affected by the fire was $18.1 million.

We covered the release of the report about the disaster in April of 2012.

Thanks and a hat tip go out to Ryan.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+