BOULDER, Colo., July 11 (UPI) — Two campers from Alabama were arrested Sunday and face felony arson charges for allegedly sparking the Cold Springs Fire that destroyed three homes in Colorado.
The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office charged Jimmy Andrew Suggs, 28, and Zackary Ryan Kuykendall, 26, both of Vinemont, Ala., with fourth-degree arson, a class four felony. Elizabeth Burdeshaw, 20, also from Vinemont, camped with the men but is not facing charges as she was not involved with making, maintaining or dousing the fire.
Authorities determined the origin of the fire was at a campsite near the Peak-to-Peak Highway and Cold Springs Road. The campers camped overnight from Thursday to Friday morning.
“The men face a felony arson charge because lives were endangered as a result of the fire,” the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “The men did not ensure that the fire was properly extinguished by dousing it with water, or making sure the ashes were cool to the touch before leaving the site. It is believed that the winds in the area, combined with the weather, allowed the fire to continue smoldering.”
The Cold Springs Fire was first reported to emergency services at about 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. More than 200 firefighters were deployed to fight the flames, aided by about a dozen aircraft. Nearly 2,000 people were evacuated. The fire burned about 600 acres and as of Sunday evening was 0 percent contained.