Hard Feelings Linger Six Years after State's Worst Wildfire

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Florissant, Colo. (AP) A sign outside a Manitou Springs house boldly proclaims: “Terry Barton -- you're an idiot.”

It's a sentiment you might expect from an area devastated by the state's largest and most destructive blaze: the June 2002 Hayman fire. And six years later, Terry Lynn Barton, the woman who started the fire, is as much a polarizing figure as she was then.

The 44-year-old Barton was released from a federal prison in Texas last week after spending almost six years locked up since the blaze she sparked burned 138,000 acres in four counties.

Now, she begins 15 years of probation and must pay millions in restitution -- 14 million dollars to the U.S. Forest service, and what could be more than 25 million in Colorado for actual losses, and to ensure victims' right to pursue civil judgments.

She must also perform 1,500 hours of community service in at least one of the four counties scarred by the fire: Teller, Douglas, Park or Jefferson.

Barton's mother, Wanda Haddock, says her daughter will be living in Colorado Springs.

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