PINEDALE – The final investigation of
the October 2018 fire at the Pinedale Airport
was completed and the official cause is
“undetermined,” despite suspicious circumstances.
The Sublette County Unified Fire Department
responded in the early evening of Oct.
12 to the fully engulfed storage building used
by the town of Pinedale.
Once extinguished, the area was secured
and the Wyoming State Fire Marshal investigated
with investigators from Sublette
County Unified Fire.
Airport Manager Jim Parker, the first to
arrive on the scene, told investigators that he
felt a piece of equipment he put away earlier
in the day had been moved.
According to the fire marshal’s report, the
fire started in the cab of a Massey Ferguson
tractor parked in the storage facility.
Burn patterns indicated that the fire originated
in the tractor’s cab, traveled to the front
of the tractor and ignited the front tires and a
pallet under the tractor, the report states.
The fire then moved up the wall to the
building’s rafters causing the roof to collapse.
“While investigating the cab of the tractor
a combustible gas detector was used and it
indicated the presence of an accelerant,” the
There was also a strong odor resembling
mothballs, according to the report.
Once the fuel cap was removed, the mothball
odor became stronger, the report states.
The gas tank also had “a slimy sludge” in
“Due to the fact that Mr. Parker stated the
main garage door was closed when he left,
the tractor had been moved from where Mr.
Parker had left, the detected presence of an
accelerant, and the strong odor resembling
mothballs, there is strong circumstantial evidence
of an incendiary fire with no physical
evidence to support this claim,” the conclusion
of the report states.