CONIFER – Family members of the three people killed in the Lower North Fork Fire were joined by a hundred others Monday evening, as they testified before a commission that will investigate the March wildfire.
The fire blew out of control after Forest Service employees failed to monitor a controlled burn.
During Monday’s three hour meeting, state representatives and other officials listened to concerns from the people affected by the fire.
“I want to know why the controlled burn was held in the first place,” Scott Appel said, who lost his wife and home in the fire.
Appel had a difficult time explaining to the commissioners how much he lost. But, he wasted no time questioning the people who started the fire.
Earlier in the day, victims took the commissioners on a tour of the burn area and showed them the remains of their homes.
“There was nothing to save,” Andy Hoover said.
Hoover and his wife also lost their home. They lived next door to the Appels.
“It’s startling,” Hoover said.
Aside from losing his home, Hoover also lost 2,200 items that his grandfather left him. His grandfather was former President Herbert Hoover.
“There were hand written speeches of granddad,” Hoover said. “He had a library of rare books, and china from the White House.”
Nearly two dozen homes were destroyed in the fire.
People at Monday’s meeting were asked to file claims immediately if they haven’t done so already. The deadline to file a claim is September 22.
Several lawsuits have also been filed by people who lost their homes.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)