Note: The following is part of a series of posts from students at Swansea University, located in Wales. The students have visiting Colorado State University and learning about America and its media.
By Ina Pace
Following the news of the Waldo Canyon Fire, first reported on June 22nd, a dead body has been found by Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Chatfield reservoir. The deceased has been identified as 37 year old Jason Gustav Stark, who was on a camping trip with friends on Saturday morning, and has since been reported missing. KCNC reports that although Stark was an evacuee of the Waldo Canyon Fire, the cause of his death was actually asphyxiation from fresh water drowning. The coroner has confirmed Stark’s death as an accident, and the Sheriff’s office has commented that Stark’s death is merely a tragic coincidence.
I find it poignant how this incident was reported on Wednesday morning, 4th of july, what is supposedly a day of celebration for Americans, and how Chatfield reservoir is also a popular site for outdoor activities. As a UK student, I have been in Colorado for just under a month now, and find the news about the damage caused by forest fires heart-breaking. They are not common back in the UK. Stark’s death however is more surreal to me as his death was not related to the fire itself. The time and place, as well as the cause of Stark’s death is utterly ironic in both the present meteorological and emotional climate.