Criminal probe launched after flaming cow pie starts blaze

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) - Weld County authorities have launched a
criminal investigation into a supposed "controlled burn" -- which
quickly got out of control when flaming cow dung helped sparked a
900-acre blaze.
District Attorney Ken Buck says he's received several complaints
from farmers and ranchers in the Pawnee National Grassland area,
where Forest Service workers were burning prairie weeds March
Eleventh.
Sheriff's officials have agreed to investigate, after learning
wind gusts of up to 40 miles-per-hour blew a burning cow pie over
the fireline.
The dung quickly sparked flames outside the controlled burn
site.
The investigation will determine whether Forest Service workers
can be charged with arson.
Damage to power poles alone could reach 14-thousand dollars.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)