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April 21, 2022

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Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500

NCAR Fire investigation update

Human-caused, no active leads

Boulder County, Colo. - On Saturday, March 26, 2022, at approximately 2:15 p.m., emergency responders were first made aware of what was later named the “NCAR Fire.” This fire was in the area of the Bear Canyon Trail on the Boulder Open Space Mountain Parks (OSMP) property south of the NCAR facility.

It was originally believed that the fire had originated in the unincorporated Boulder County portion of the OSMP property, so the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) took the lead on the investigation. As the investigation proceeded and the precise origin of the fire was located, it was found to be inside the city limits of Boulder, by less than one hundred feet. Since detectives with the sheriff’s office were already heavily involved in the investigation, we kept the case and collaborated with personnel from the City of Boulder.

The origin of the fire was just a few feet off of the Bear Canyon Trail and investigators were able to determine that it was human-caused. Investigators reviewed over 20 tips from the public, examined potential video and photographic evidence, and spoke to potential witnesses who had been on the trail that day.

At this point, investigators with the sheriff’s office have exhausted all leads and have not been able to identify a suspect. We again ask that anyone with information on a possible suspect in this case please notify us by calling 720-564-2679 or emailing us at At this time, barring receipt of any substantial leads, our investigation into the NCAR Fire will be inactivated.

The associated BCSO case number for this investigation is 22-1273.


/s/ Detective Sergeant Clay Leak