Selectboard findings regarding Jensen open burn 7/4/2020


We are putting this together in order to set a clear accounting of the events that led to the uncontrolled fire on Saturday, July 4, 2020:

  • Michelle Jensen requested a burn permit from Fire Warden Dave Brown, 7/2/20.
  • Fire danger conditions on that date were low. (
  • Saturday morning, fire danger condition had elevated to moderate, though wind conditions were low.
  • Dave Brown, concerned about conditions, did drive by Jensen property around noon on Saturday. Though weather was hot & dry, wind conditions were low.
  • Around 2 in the afternoon, while tending the fire with a bulldozer, Chet Begin observed that the fire had escaped the fire zone, and was going up the hill behind the fire.
  • An unknown person notified 911, and 4 town fire departments responded. This included Dave Brown in his other role as Chief-Stockbridge Fire Department.
  • The fire was contained on the Begin/Jensen properties.

We want to send our sincere thanks to the firefighters from Stockbridge, Pittsfield, Barnard & Bethel for suspending their holiday activities to assist us with this response. The quick response from all these towns, on a holiday weekend, is a testament to how neighbors helping neighbors in difficult times is the sign of a strong community.

Stockbridge Selectboard