Man arrested for starting Colorado wildfire

TAOS, New Mexico (Reuters) - A man was arrested on Saturday on charges of starting a forest fire in Colorado that has destroyed structures and forced hundreds to evacuate their homes in one of dozens of wildfires raging across the drought-hit U.S. southwest. Jesper Joergensen, 52, was taken into custody for suspected arson that started the Springs Fire, the most active of around 10 blazes in Colorado, the state hardest hit by fires, according to Costilla County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. Joergensen is not a U.S. citizen and will be handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement once he has faced arson charges, said a Costilla County detention officer. The officer could not immediately say what nationality Joergensen held. The fire has scorched over 38,000 acres (15,378 hectares) between the towns of Fort Garland and La Veta in southern Colorado, forcing more mandatory evacuations [...]

2018-10-15T06:23:22+00:00July 30th, 2018|0 Comments

San Juan National Forest to close as 416 wildfire grows to 22,000 acres

The San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado will shut down for the first time in its 113-year history as the drought-driven 416 fire has climbed to 22,131 acres. The closure order was signed Monday night and the shutdown will become effective Tuesday. It will prohibit entry by the general public into the 1.8 million-acre forest, across nine counties, at the start of the area’s busy summer season, which attracts worldwide visitors and tourists. The SJNF implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions on May 1 followed by Stage 2 fire restrictions on June 1, but conditions continue to deteriorate as the 416 fire and the 1,000-acre Burro fire continue to grow. “Under current conditions, one abandoned campfire or spark could cause a catastrophic wildfire, and we are not willing to take that chance with the natural and cultural resources under our protection and care, or with human life [...]

2018-11-04T10:13:43+00:00June 12th, 2018|0 Comments