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Two Alabama campers arrested over Colorado wildfire

By Karen Graham     Jul 11, 2016 in Environment
Boulder - Two Alabama men were arrested and charged with arson Sunday afternoon in connection with a wildfire that has spread to more that 600 acres and forced the evacuation of over 2,000 people, reports the Boulder, Colorado Sheriff's Office.
Campers Jimmy Andrew Suggs, 28, and Zackary Ryan Kuykendall, 26, both of Vinemont, Alabama have been charged with allegedly failing to put out a campfire properly, causing a wildfire that led to lives being endangered.
The two men, along with 20-year-old companion Elizabeth Burdeshaw, who was not charged, set up a campsite on private property near the Peak to Peak Highway and Cold Springs Road on Thursday night.
They built a campfire, letting it burn into Friday morning, according to a statement issued by sheriff’s commander Mike Wagner.
“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,” Wagner said. “It is believed that the winds in the area, combined with the weather, allowed the fire to continue smoldering.”
The fire eventually spread through the campsite igniting the wildfire now called the Cold Springs Fire on Saturday. Someone called 911 Saturday at 1:30 p.m. to report the fire.
The Cold Springs Fire has now spread to over 600 acres and burned down three houses, including a Nederland firefighter's home, along with three other structures. Over 2,000 people living southwest of Boulder have been evacuated.
Over 200 firefighters, aided by a dozen aircraft have been battling to establish a perimeter around the blaze. The Colorado National Guard has 50 soldiers and airmen aiding in fighting the fire and providing security.
Air support includes two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and one CH-47 Chinook helicopter equipped with Bambi Buckets, and two fuel trucks, reports USA Today.
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