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State Park Fire tagged 2012 top news story

Posted: Sunday, Jan 6th, 2013

Flames race up the west side of the slope bordering the North Platte River in Kelly Park on Saturday, June 9, 2012. High winds fueled the fire and over the next five days, the fire scorched 2,700 acres of public and private land, caused the evacuation of residents along the south state park entrance road and Pleasant Valley Road, and closed access to Guernsey State Park. An illegal campfire was later determined to be the cause and two Torrington people were charged in the case. One plead guilty and one is awaiting a January trial.

GUERNSEY--An illegal cooking fire in Kelly Park was cited as the source of a fire that burned nearly 2,700 acres of Guernsey State Park and private land, caused the evacuation of 600 state park visitors, and the evacuation of residents along the south entrance road to the park and along Pleasant Valley Road.

Due to the impact the fire had on not only local people but others from across the country, the Guernsey State Park Fire was deemed the Guernsey Gazette’s top story of 2012.

Firefighters fought the flames for five days as high winds drove the fire in different directions and at one point, threatened the community of Guernsey itself and put residents on notice of a possible mass evacuation.

Over 400 firefighters from local, county, state, and even out-of-state departments were called to help battle the blaze, which was finally fully contained over a week after it began.

A single, unoccupied cabin in the state park was the only structure lost in the fire.

By the end of June, two people from Torrington had been arrested and each charged with counts of Felony Third Degree Arson and Misdemeanor Negligent Burning of Woods, Prairies or Grounds.

For the complete article see the 01-01-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-01-2013 paper.

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