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LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- Investigators in the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service have determined the Crystal Fire was started by the son of a property owner. Thomas Howie, 36, of Fort Collins will be charged with one count of 4th degree arson.

Investigators said Howie was burning debris at 2394 Granite Road in Bellvue which ignited the fire. Howie admitted to investigators that he started the fire while burning a slash pile.

The Crystal Fire started on April 1 and burned nearly 3,000 acres before it was 100 percent contained on April 11.

13 homes were destroyed in addition to other private property. Three firefighters were hurt while fighting the fire. The total cost of fighting the fire is estimated to be $3 million.


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