April 30, 1997
Gene Patten 970-723-8202
John Hamill 303-236-8155 ext 252
Diane Katzenberger 303-236-7905
Sometime between 10:30 p.m., Saturday, April
26 and 5:30 a.m. Sunday, April 27 the headquarters building of
the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in Walden, Colo. was burned
to the ground. No one was at the headquarters at the time, and
there were no witnesses to the fire. According to Gene Patten,
Refuge Manager, the building and its contents are a complete loss.
The fire, which started in the basement, is
being investigated by Jackson County Sheriff Gary Cure. AIn
my 24 years of law enforcement, I have never seen a building burn
said Sheriff Cure. The sheriff added that at the present time
there is no physical evidence to indicate that the fire was deliberately
set. It is believed by those first on the site that the building
was probably gone in 30-45 minutes. The Federal Bureau of Investigation
has been notified of the fire and are ready to work with the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service and Sheriff Cure, should the need arise.
historical records, along with many personal items, were lost
in the blaze,@
said Refuge Manager Patten. The staff has moved to a house on
the Refuge while they assess the losses. According to U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service officials at this time, it does not appear
that any public uses of the refuge will be affected by the fire.
The Refuge, which includes 23,267 acres, was
established in 1967 and has a staff of 5 permanent employees,
2 volunteers, 2-4 Biological Technicians, and 4 from the Youth
The Refuge located near Walden, Colorado in
Jackson County in Northcentral Colorado, was the former ranch
of the family of U.S. Senator Wayne Allard. The building was
the family home and was being used as the administrative building
at the time of the fire. AI
am very sorry to learn of the fire which destroyed our former
home in Jackson County. I grew up in that house and lived there
until we sold the ranch when I was in high school. One of the
things I will always remember is saving a lot of baby calves in
the basement of that old house during the cold winter months,@
Senator Allard said when being told of the fire.
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