Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ham Lake Fire

In May of 2007 a unattended camp fire caused the largest forest fire in Minnesota history. Three years after it occurred I visited the fire area this past year. It was a very sad scene indeed. It still looked like it happened yesterday. There is growth and underbrush but the stumps and burned trees remain. I drove to the end of the Gunflint Trail and took a picture across the lake.Nothing but rocks and barren land on the other side of the lake. After I returned home I did a bit more research and found a story even more sad then the fire. A man that couldn't deal with the fact he left his fire unattended or not completely out:

A 64-year-old Northwest Washington man who was charged with causing the largest wildfire in Minnesota in 90 years apparently shot and killed himself yesterday in his back yard.
A retired federal employee and former advisory neighborhood commissioner, died at his home on Windom Place, according to police sources and his lawyer.
The apparent suicide came the day after a federal magistrate judge in Minneapolis denied motions challenging key aspects of the charges filed in the 2007 Ham Lake fire, which burned for days, destroying more than 75,000 acres.

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