Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rosemont CEO says worker caused May 2 blaze

Rosemont Copper's president says welding work done by a ranch hand working for the company accidentally sparked a fire that burned about 2,200 acres near the Santa Rita Mountains in early May. The ranch worker was welding a broken well bracket in the back of a pickup truck in a manner that followed procedures outlined in the ranch operation's permit to graze on federal land, said Rod Pace, Rosemont Copper's president and CEO. The fire started on the company's Rosemont Ranch, which spans about 30,000 acres of mostly federal land in the grasslands and oak woodlands east of the Santa Ritas and west of Arizona 83. Although the fire didn't burn any structures, it came to 75 yards of a ranch house on private land, said Joseph DeWolf, chief of the Sonoita-Elgin Fire District. Its firefighters were the first to respond to the blaze, he said. The U.S. Forest Service has the wildfire under investigation by its law enforcement division. It has refused to comment on the origin and has turned down a Freedom of Information Act request from the Star for information on the fire due to the investigation. For some time now, local fire district officials and the former owner of the Rosemont Ranch's private land, Bob Bowman, have said the fire started on this ranch, where Bowman lives on private land owned by the mining company. Bowman continues to live there under what's known as a "life estate" agreement with the company, he has said...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...