Aspen Fire Update - Tucson News Now

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Aspen Fire Update

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Posted July 28, 2003

A new report says about 40% of the 85,000 acres the Aspen Fire burned on Mount Lemmon is at risk for erosion.

Crews have been busy seeding, mulching, sandbagging and clearing drainage areas. A spokesman says there hasn't been any severe, irreparable damage. The fire destroyed more than 300 homes and businesses.

Now Pima County's Risk Management director says a third of the homes would not have burned if owners had used stronger materials or created more defensible space.

Pima County is currently rewriting codes for rebuilding.  Some changes will make it more costly to build.  The planning and zoning commission plan to discuss proposed changes.


 Investigators are looking for six people seen along a trail the day the Aspen Fire started. Authorities say they may have information, but they are not considered suspects.

Investigators are still trying to determine who started the fire near Marshall Gulch June 17th. It grew to 85,000 acres and burned more than 300 homes on Mt. Lemmon.

Investigators are looking for:

* A couple in their twenties, hiking and pulling an ice chest on wheels
* An elderly couple hiking with walking sticks similar to ski poles
* Two young men, in their twenties -- one of them was carrying a black bag across his chest

Again... None of these people are suspects. But they may be able to help investigators determine who started the fire. Anyone who can help is asked to call the Pima County Sheriff's Department at 547-6411.

A reward up to $5,000 is being offered.


Tune in to KOLD-TV and News 13 for late breaking coverage throughout the day and night.

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