By Stan Bush
NEDERLAND, Colo. (CBS4)– Two transients who sparked a wildfire in Nederland over the summer that destroyed eight homes and burned hundreds of acres, will not go to prison.
Jimmy Suggs, 28, and Zackary Kuykendall, 26 were sentenced Friday to two years’ work release out of the Boulder County Jail, 4 years’ probation, and will have to pay more than $1 million in restitution.
The pair avoided a more severe sentence because the fire was started accidentally.
“They’ve wasted enough time and money of ours and hurt a lot of people,” says Nederland Fire Chief Rick Dirr.
Dirr fought on the front lines of the fire and was also a victim. His property was damaged by the wildfire. A captain at the Nederland Volunteer Fire Department had his home destroyed.
Still, the sentiment of many Nederland residents has been that the sentence is fair considering the circumstances that started the fire. Dirr says the problem is the larger transient camping issue facing Nederland, which has become a hub for homeless campers in the summer months.
“I saw three state campfires get out of control last year we had another one this year that we caught and these guys are symptom of the problem,” says Dirr. “So, as much as I want to be really mad at them – I’m mad at them, but other people do the same thing and just we got lucky enough to catch the fires.”
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