Incident No: 000123 June 24, 2012 Page 1 of 9

DIVISION OF FORESTRY, FIRE & STATE LANDS

INCIDENT REPORT
NATURE OF INCIDENT: Wildland Fire (Church Camp) STATUTE: (State) UCA 65A-3-4 Liability for causing Wildland Fire DATE: 06/24/2012 INCIDENT NO: UT-MES-000123 (Duchesne County) SUSPECT[S]: Unknown

LOCATION:

T. 11 S., R. 11 E., SLB&M Section: 16, SE 1/4: (GPS N 39°51’ 34.97”- W 110°41’ 18.9”)

NARRATIVE: Synopsis:
The fire was located south of Argyle Canyon on land owned by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA). The fire origin is located on the west side of a large slash pile that

Incident No: 000123 June 24, 2012 Page 2 of 9 was created during a logging operation on adjacent SITLA property. The slash pile is located on the top of a ridge and south of a landing that was used to collect trees and logs from the surrounding harvested area. It was apparent that the slash pile had been burned prior to the Church Camp Fire. According to representatives from SITLA this slash pile was burned on December 2, 2010 by SITLA staff. The Church Camp Fire advanced northward pushed by south/southwest winds. The fire consumed approximately 7,211 acres of state, private and national forest land. Several cabins and other structures were destroyed by the fire. The estimated suppression cost of the Church Camp Fire was $5,700,000. A dead bull Elk was discovered by firefighters a short distance from the origin area of the fire. The Elk was near the outer edge of the fire and was not burned. The Elk had an arrow in it and appeared to have been shot around the same time that the fire started. The Division of Wildlife Resources is investigating the Elk incident and at this point there is no evidence that the fire and poaching incidents are related.

Background:
The Church Camp Fire was first reported at 18:02 on 6/24/2010 by Lana Wolsky (801 602-3079). The Duchesne County Fire Warden was dispatched at 18:08 and arrived on the fire at 19:57. I was requested to investigate the Church Camp Fire on 06/26/2012. I arrived at the Incident Command Post (ICP) which had been set up near the east side of Camp Timberline, which is a youth camp owned and operated by the LDS Church, on the afternoon of 06/26. The fire was burning actively to the north and suppression resources were working the fire. I spoke with Ken Ludwig who works for the Division of Forestry, Fire & Sate Lands

Incident No: 000123 June 24, 2012 Page 3 of 9 (FFSL) and was among the initial attack personnel who originally responded to the fire on 6/24. Ken directed me to the location where they first engaged the fire on the night of 6/24. He also told me that the camp managers of the youth camp had arrived on the scene of the fire before the initial attack resources. The camp managers drove into the area of the ICP as I was talking with Ken so I asked them to show me where the fire was burning when they arrived and tell me what they knew about the early stages of the fire. Camp Managers Mont Jensen and CR Charlesworth along with their wives lead me to the area where they first observed the fire and showed me where it was burning when they first observed it. They indicated that it was burning below (east) of the main access road that we were parked upon and below (north) of a ridge located to the south. They indicated that they later returned to the fire in the “camp truck” and constructed some fire-line with shovels to keep the fire from moving westward. I left the fire on the evening of 6/26 and returned on 7/11 with DWR officers, on 7/19 with representatives from SITLA, on 8/15 with the loggers, Jeff & Sam Fabrizio and again on 10/2 with SITLA staff.

INVESTIGATION:

Investigator Jason Curry and I performed an extensive evaluation of the origin area of the fire on 7/11. We walked the area of the fire where Mr. Jensen and Mr. Charlesworth told us that they had first observed the fire on the day that it started. We traced burn indicators back to the area of the slash pile on the ridge at the south end of the fire. We observed loose ash within the slash pile and when I walked across the top of it, approximately in the center of the pile, both of my feet went into ash nearly up to my knees and it felt like my shoes were getting warm. The loose ash seemed to indicate that the pile was burned recently. We observed that there

Incident No: 000123 June 24, 2012 Page 4 of 9 were burn patterns on a clump of trees immediately northwest of the slash pile that indicated the fire had moved from the south to the north. There is a logging road and landing which are clear of any vegetation or fuels that could carry a fire northward. We observed another clump of trees on the north side of the first clump and located on the north side of the logging road and west of the landing. This clump of trees is about 30 feet north of the first clump and had similar burn patterns to the first clump of trees indicating that the fire advanced from the south to the north originating on the south side of the road. It is likely that hot embers from the first clump of trees located on the south side of the logging road could have been carried by the wind northward across the logging road to the second clump of trees. Burning embers likely spotted from the clump of trees on the north side of the logging road down the drainage and started fires below. The winds at the time of the fire and the following day (6/24 & 25) were blowing primarily from the south/south west/southeast. This was verified by firefighters and information collected from a UDOT remote weather station located on Highway 191 approximately 4 miles northwest of the fire origin. The tabular information from a UDOT weather station is included in Exhibit E. The wind direction and burn indicators clearly confirm the movement of the fire from the south to the north. The fact that the west side of the slash pile was burning when initial attack resources arrived, which necessitated construction of a scratch-line to prevent the fire from creeping to the south and west, is further confirmation that the fire started on the west side of the large/previously burned slash pile. None of the witnesses from Camp Timberline recalled any lightning activity the day that the fire started or for a few days previous. Lightning detection information was obtained covering the period of 6/9/2012 at 00:00 hours to 6/24/2012 at 19:59 hours. The lightning information indicates that there were three lightning strikes on 6/15 all of which were at least three miles north of the origin of the Church Camp Fire. The lightning detection information is included in Exhibit C. Map 1 in Exhibit A shows the approximate location of the fire origin and the location of the dead

Incident No: 000123 June 24, 2012 Page 5 of 9 Elk. Map 2 shows the general origin area and the approximate adjacent fire perimeter. Aerial photos (AP) 1, 2, 3 and 4 were provided by SITLA and show the location of the slash pile adjacent to the origin area of the fire. AP 1 is from Google Earth and is dated 8/19/2010 and shows the location of the subject slash pile and logging equipment. AP 1 also seems to show that there is no large slash pile which could indicate that the pile was burned prior to the photo. Google photo AP 2 is dated 10/2/2011 and shows that the logging equipment has been removed. AP 3 was printed from Bing and although it does not show a date, given the fact that the logging equipment is still on site it was likely taken sometime around 9/14/2011. The timeline provided by SITLA indicates that logging was completed in August of 2011 in Unit 1 where the subject slash pile is located. AP 4 is a close up of AP 3. All three aerial photos clearly show burnt areas around the subject slash pile, primarily on the south and west sides. These AP’ substantiate s that the subject slash pile was burned prior to September of 2011. SITLA staff has reported that this slash pile was burned in December of 2010. Photos are located in Exhibit B. Photo 1 (looking southwest) shows the general origin area of the fire which is located on the west side of the previously burned slash pile. This photo also shows a burnt area at the base of a tree located approximately 25 feet southwest and below the general origin area. There is also a burnt log lying on the west side of the tree as shown in Photo 3. There is no evidence that the tree and burnt log are related to the origin of the Church Camp Fire. There are no burn indicators or damage that would indicate that the fire moved from the burnt tree or log into the general origin area or that the damage to the tree and log were recent. There is also a tree with fire charring located approximately 200 feet west of the general origin area. This tree had a burnt area around the trunk but had green grass stems growing within it so it also had no connection with the Church Camp Fire. The burnt log in Photo 3 could have rolled to its current location as a result of the slash pile burning that occurred in December of 2010. The trees could have been damaged from previous lightning strikes that occurred prior to the Church Camp Fire. Photo 2 shows the logging road with the clump of trees on the north side of the logging road in the foreground (Clump # 2) and in the background the clump of trees on the southwest side of the slash pile (Clump #1) and to the left of these trees is the remains

Incident No: 000123 June 24, 2012 Page 6 of 9 of the previously burned slash pile. As stated above, the fire moved into the clump of trees on the south side of the logging road (Clump1) and west of the general origin area and spotted in to the clump of trees on the north side of the logging road (Clump 2). From there it spotted down-hill carried by southerly winds into the abundant fuel below and spread to the north. Photo 4 shows the area to the north of the origin where the fire advanced northward. During my initial interview with Mont Jensen on 6/26 he told me that he and his wife were driving out of the camp on June 24th at about 1800, as they started out of the gate, headed west, they turned around and noticed smoke that they thought was coming from the east side of the camp. They turned around and drove toward the smoke. Mr. Jensen further stated that when they discovered where the fire was they called 911 and headed back to their cabin at the camp. On the way back to the cabin Mr. and Mrs. Jensen reported seeing what they described as a red color rail or go-cart traveling in the opposite direction of the fire and moving at a high rate of speed. They reported that the driver was wearing a yellow helmet and seemed to be about 14 years old (they mentioned that the driver was a youth in their witness statement). They said that the rail or go-cart turned down the “pole-line” and headed into the bottom of the canyon. The pole-line is located just west of Camp Timberline and has a road or trail that heads northward towards the bottom of Argyle Canyon. There are numerous cabins located within the canyon. I provided the information about the go-cart to the Duchesne County Sheriff’ office and local s DWR officer who have assisted in locating the vehicle and driver with no success as of the date of this report. Mr. Jensen also told me that Glen Robinson’ (DOB 11/48) Son, (I have since learned that his s name is Brett (DOB 7/77)), contacted Mr. Jensen the Friday before the fire (6/22) and asked if they could trade keys to the camp gate and the private gate from the bottom of Argyle Canyon leading to the Robinson cabin. Mr. Jensen agreed to the exchange and on Saturday (6/23)

Incident No: 000123 June 24, 2012 Page 7 of 9 Brett Robinson’ Son (Glen Robinson’ Grandson) showed up to make the key exchange. When s s Mr. Jensen asked where his dad was the boy said that his dad was tending a fire or fires and could not make it. I asked Mr. Jensen if he was aware of the Robinson’ doing any burning in s the area and he said “no”. I asked Mr. Jensen when was the last time that he saw the loggers in the area and he said that they were there the Friday before the fire and hauled out a couple of loads of logs. I asked him if he was aware of the loggers or anyone else burning slash piles or any other burning activity and he said “no”. I asked him if he smelled any smoke during the day of the fire or before and he said “no”. Mr. Jensen told me that he had heard that there was a slash pile that was burned last fall and started on fire again this year. I spoke with Duchesne County Fire Warden Nathan Robinson and asked him if he was aware of the slash pile that Mr. Jensen referenced to. Nathan told me that there was a slash pile on Avantiquin Ridge on the west side of SR-191 and several miles west of the Church Camp Fire that was burned last fall and did re-ignite this spring. The re-ignition was likely due to the very light snowpack and lack of precipitation during the past winter and spring. According to SITLA, the slash pile adjacent to the origin of the Church Camp fire was burned in December of 2010. If that were the case it would be highly unlikely that there would have been enough retained heat to re-ignite this particular pile given the high amount of snowfall and rain that occurred during the winter and spring of 2010/11. As I mentioned before, there was considerable accumulation of fluffy ash within the pile that would indicate that the pile may have been burned more recently but there is no evidence that it was. A witness statement from Mr. & Mrs. Jensen is attached in Exhibit D. Myself and Jason Curry, an investigator with FFSL, met with representatives from SITLA on 7/19 at the location of the fire origin. We discussed the logging activity, pile burning and fire origin. I requested a time-line of timber harvesting activities within the area which was provided and

Incident No: 000123 June 24, 2012 Page 8 of 9 is attached as Exhibit F. The representatives from SITLA were Rick Wilcox, Kim Christy, Adam Robison and Ron Barton. Robison is the forester who administered the timber sale. Robison confirmed that the slash pile at the origin of the fire was burned on December 2, 2010. The time-line however indicates that slash piles were burned in Units 1 & 4 on January 11th & 12th of 2012. The slash pile where the fire started is in Unit 1. Given the low precipitation during the winter and spring of 2012 it would not be impossible for a fire to re-ignite in a large slash pile with sizeable portions of trees and dirt mixed in. As mentioned above, a slash pile on Avantiquin Ridge that was burned in the fall of 2011 did re-ignite in the spring of 2012. In order to clarify the time-line when slash piles were burned in Unit 1(the unit where the fire started), I once again met SITLA staff at the fire origin area on October 2nd. SITLA staff included Rick Wilcox, Adam Robison and Cary Zilelinsky who assists Robison with forestry activities for the agency. It was confirmed by SITLA staff at the meeting that the slash pile near the origin area of the fire was burned on December 2nd, 2010 and that the pile was not re-ignited by SITLA representatives in January of 2012 or any other time after December of 2010. See witness statements from Adam Robison and Cary Zilelinsky in Exhibit D. Mr. Jensen and Mr. Charlesworth from the youth camp also met us at the origin area of the fire on 7/19 along with Duchesne County Fire Warden Nathan Robinson and Forest Service employee Philip Kaclrgk who was the crew leader of the Kings Peak Fuels Module. Nathan and Phillip, along with his crew, were among the first initial attack responders to the fire. Nathan showed us where he saw the fire when he first arrived which was within the general area observed by Mr. Jensen and Mr. Charlesworth. Phillip and his crew were assigned to work the south flank of the fire near the slash pile. Phillip confirmed that he and his crew built the scratch-line around the west side of the slash pile and that this area was actively burning when they arrived. He said that he did not notice the main slash pile burning and did not see any fire south of the ridge where the slash pile was located. On 8/15 I met Jeff and Sam Fabrizio who are the owners of Knotty Wood Products and hold

Incident No: 000123 June 24, 2012 Page 9 of 9 the current logging contract. I asked them if they burned any of the slash piles as part of their contract and they said “no” that it was SITLA’ responsibility to burn the piles, not theirs. I asked s them if they were aware of any slash piles being burned recently and they said “no”. I asked them when they were last working in the area and they said that they hauled a couple of loads of logs out the Friday before the fire. They said that the log deck that they were working off of is located near a meadow above the fire origin. This would be Units 3 and 4 on the map in Exhibit F. They stated that they had not worked in Unit 1 near the origin area of the fire since August of 2011. This is confirmed by the time-line provided by SITLA. They said that they had part of a log deck burn in the fire and had also suffered a financial loss but they were able to move their equipment into the meadow where it was safe from the fire. I asked the Fabrizio’ s if they knew anyone who may hold a grudge against them that could have started the fire and they said that they did not know anyone who would start a fire out of anger towards them. On 8/23 Jason Curry and I conducted a telephone interview with Glen Robinson. I had been attempting to contact Mr. Robinson for several weeks and had left several messages on telephone numbers that I had. Mr. Robinson and his wife Dixie did call me back and left voice messages on my office phone on 6/14, 6/15 and 6/17. Mr. Robinson stated that they had been out of town and didn’ get my messages until he first called me on 6/14. We consequently arranged t for the telephone interview on 8/23. At the beginning of the interview Mr. Robinson expressed concern about the firefighting effort and the loss of his cabin which burned in the fire. We told him that our purpose was to investigate how the fire started, not how it was fought. Mr. Robinson stated that the loggers had been working behind their cabin on state land (SITLA land). He said that he was notified by the loggers and the Timberline Camp manager about the fire and that they responded on the night of 6/24 and the fire was not near their cabin when they left about 01:30 on 6/25. He said that he received a call from the loggers again on Monday (6/25) and they told him that his cabin was gone. He stated that the loggers told him that a slash fire could hold-over for a long time. Mr. Robinson told us that two weeks before the fire happened he and his daughter were at the

Incident No: 000123 June 24, 2012 Page 10 of 9 slash pile where the fire started and that he stomped on the pile and loose ash flew up when his shoe sunk in about 1.5 inches. This made him think that it could still have heat under it and may have been burned recently. He said that there is a lot of dirt that is pushed up when the slash piles are made and that he thought that the dirt would insulate the heat and allow it to stay for a long time. He also stated that there was a tire lying on the previously burned part of the slash pile that had not burned and he wondered why the tire had not burned or been removed when the pile was burned. (Jason and I noticed the remains of a burned tire on our visit to the site on 7/11 and commented that the steel in the tire had not rusted enough for the tire to have burned very long ago). I think the tire that Mr. Robinson referred to was the same one that Jason and I observed on 6/11. Photo 5 in Exhibit B snows the burnt steel-belting from the subject tire located on the remains of the slash pile. I asked Mr. Robinson if he saw, felt or smelled any smoke or heat on the mound of dirt within the pile when he and his daughter were there and he said “no”. I told Mr. Robinson about the statement from Mr. Jensen regarding the incident with the key exchange and what his grandson has told Mr. Jensen about his father tending a fire and could not leave to get the key. Mr. Robinson told me that his son, Brett, was probably referring to a fire that they had been using in a fire pit near their cabin to cook some food. I asked Mr. Robinson if he and his daughter would be willing to write a witness statement capturing what he had told me about the tire and he said they would. I asked Mr. Robinson if he would have his son call me so that I could talk with him about the information that I had received from Mr. Jensen. Jason Curry dropped off witness statements at Mr. Robinson’ office on 8/24. s Jason Curry went by Mr. Robinson’ office on 8/30 to pick up the witness statements and Mr. s Robinson told him that he had changed his mind and would not write the statements. I called Mr. Robinson at his office after Jason informed me of the situation; Jason was present during the call. Mr. Robinson confirmed what Jason told me and said that it would not do any good because the state would not do anything anyway and there was no proof that the fire started at the slash pile. He then became very agitated and went back to the fire suppression issue when he thought

Incident No: 000123 June 24, 2012 Page 11 of 9 that there was not adequate action taken when the fire was small enough to suppress. I told Mr. Robinson that I wanted to determine how the fire started and if he wanted to pursue the suppression issue I would be willing to work on that as well but he needed to document his concerns. We eventually went back to the fire cause and the un-burned tire that he claims he and his daughter observed two weeks before the fire. Mr. Robinson eventually admitted that he did not want to write a statement because it could cause issues between him and SITLA because his water storage tank is located on SITLA land adjacent to his cabin and he does not have a permit for the water tank. He did state that he has a permit for the road that leads to his cabin which crosses SITLA land and that SITLA staff found out about the water tank because they were logging on their land adjacent to his property. Mr. Robinson still feels that the slash pile was burned more recently than December of 2010, as reported by SITLA, because of the loose ash. He felt that if the fire was burned in 2010 with all of the precipitation and snow that came that year that the loose ash would have been compressed and would not fly up when he stepped in it. I asked Mr. Robinson if he would have his son Brett call me and he said that he would not. I told him that I needed to ask Brett where the fire was that he was attending when Brett’ son went s to the youth camp to get the key from Mr. Jensen. Mr. Robinson stated once again that his son was cooking tin-foil dinners at the cabin and that was the fire that he was attending. I have not been able to talk with Brett Robinson.

CONCLUSION: Based upon statements from individuals who initially responded to the fire, including firefighters and Camp Timberline staff as well as SITLA staff and loggers along with burn patterns and indicators, the origin of the Church Camp Fire was determined. The fire started in an area on

Incident No: 000123 June 24, 2012 Page 12 of 9 the west side of a slash pile that, according to SITLA, was burned on December 2nd 2010. The presence of loose/fluffy ash when Mr. Robinson and his daughter were at the slash pile two weeks before the fire and observed the un-burned tire and when Jason Curry and I visited the fire on 7/11 appears to indicate that the fire could have been burned more recently but there is no other evidence to substantiate that. The fire moved from the origin area to a clump of trees adjacent to the origin area and spotted across a logging road to another clump of trees. The spotting from the tree clumps also likely sent burning embers into the drainage below. A combination of prevailing winds, low humidity, high temperatures and low fuel moisture allowed the fire to move northward and increase in intensity. If the slash pile in the origin area was burned in December of 2010 as reported by Adam Robison of SITLA it would be highly unlikely that residual heat was held for that long within the pile sufficient to ignite the area on the west side of the pile where the fire appears to have started. If the pile was burned in January of 2012 it is very possible that there was enough residual heat in the pile to re-ignite on 6/24/2012. Statements from the SITLA staff who burned the slash piles indicate that the pile near the origin area was burned in December, 2010 and was not re-ignited by SITLA staff in January of 2012 or any other time since December of 2010. There were no indicators or evidence of an ignition source that was detectable within the origin area. Residual heat from the slash pile that was burned in December of 2010 is unlikely. There was no evidence of recent heavy equipment working in the immediate area at the time the fire started. There was no indication of campfires, children playing with matches, smoking, incendiary devices, power lines or fireworks near the origin area. There had not been any recent lightning activity in the area of the fire so lightning was not the cause. Based upon these facts and observations it must be concluded that the only possible cause of the Church Camp Fire was residual heat from the slash pile, which is highly unlikely given the facts and circumstances outlined in this report or arson which cannot be substantiated.

WITNESSES:

Incident No: 000123 June 24, 2012 Page 13 of 9

Mont Jensen Rick Wilcox

Camp Timberline Manager SITLA Staff, Program Manager

(801) 420-5475 (801) 538-5100

Adam Robison SITLA Staff, Forester Sam Fabrizio Knotty Wood Products

(435) 820-4989 (801) 828-5195 (801) 269-9703 Work (801) 968-5273 Home

Glen RobinsonProperty Owner

INVESTIGATING OFFICER:
Richard J. Buehler Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands 1594 West North Temple, Suite 3520 PO Box 145703 Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-5703 (801) 538-5555