FRUITA, Colo. (CBS4) – The man who admitted to starting the Skipper Island Fire on the Western Slope last month will face charges.

Mike “Marlow” Mewborn has been living as a nomad for the past 10 years. He was camping in the area near Fruita between Grand Junction and the Utah border when the campfire got out of control.

Skipper Island Fire (credit: Mesa County)

He called 911 to report the fire after he tried to keep it from spreading. But the ground was too dry and the winds were too strong.

Skipper Island Fire (credit: CBS)

“I wasn’t fully paying attention. I was kind of in a day dream. The ground cover was very flammable, it was more flammable than I thought it would be,” said Mewborn.

Skipper Island Fire (credit: Mesa County)

The fire burned about 200 acres and shut down Interstate 70 due to heavy smoke.

Mewborn says he never intended to cause any harm and takes full responsibility.

He will face charges including damage and improper use of wildfire property.

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