Two Alabama men have been taken into custody for their alleged role in the instigation of the Cold Springs Fire near Nederland in Colorado.
The suspects, identified as Jimmy Andrew Suggs and Zackary Ryan Kuykendall, face fourth degree arson each, according to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office. In a statement, the sheriff’s office said “the men face a felony arson charge because lives were endangered as a result of the fire.”
The fire started at an ad hoc campsite on private property near the Peak-To-Peak highway and Cold Springs Road shortly before 1:30 p.m., according to fire investigators and sheriff’s detectives, CBS News reports. As many as 2,000 evacuations had been ordered as of Sunday evening as a result of the fire that has spread to more than 536 acres.
The campsite was laid out Thursday night and into Friday morning but Suggs and Kuykendall “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.”
A third individual, Elizabeth Burdeshaw, who was with the duo will not be facing any charges “as she did not have any involvement in creating, maintaining or extinguishing the campfire,” the sheriff’s office said, according to Daily Camera.
High winds in the area coupled with more than 90-degree temperatures exaggerated the fire, causing it to spread more than it might have otherwise. As it burns through a large area, the fire has put more homes in danger. The fire is moving northeast with limited containment.
Homes in the surrounding areas experienced power outage.
In a statement, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said, “The land survey resulted in identifying three homes that are destroyed. These homes each included one outbuilding each that was also destroyed for a total of six destroyed structures. This is an active fire with fire crews still working in the area. The area is still a mandatory evacuation zone and residents should not be inside the zone.”
New evacuation orders have been issued for south and southeast of Barker Reservoir off Boulder Canyon Road, CBS News reports. Areas surrounding Boulder Canyon west of Magnolia and Sugarloaf roads south and southeast of Barker Reservoir through Aspen Meadows have also been issued evacuation orders, the website added.