FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– The U.S. Forest Service has cited a Fort Collins man for starting the Hewlett Fire.
James J. Weber started the fire while camping on the Hewlett Gulch trail on Monday. According to the Forest Service Weber was using a camp stove that used alcohol. That camp stove started the blaze.
Weber, 56, told authorities at the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office that he tried to stomp out the fire but it didn’t work. When the fire spread, he ran away to safety. Where the fire started was out of cell phone range.
The fire on Friday morning was listed at 7,673 acres, which is more than 11 square miles. Some of the hottest spots are burning in the southeast corner and along the northwest edge of the fire.
It was 11 percent contained Friday afternoon and 15 homes remain evacuated, although it’s expected those residents will be allowed to return home before the end of the day.
More than 500 firefighters are battling the fire, which started on Monday in Poudre Canyon in Larimer County near Highway 14.
Weber was cited for causing timber, trees, slash, brush or grass to burn except as authorized by permit. He faces a $300 fine plus a $25 processing fee. The Forest Service will pursue Weber for restitution.