U.S. News

Two men arrested in connection with 500-acre Colorado wildfire

Elisha Fieldstadt
Zackary Ryan Kuykendall and Jimmy Andrew Suggs have been arrested in connection with a wildfire that has destroyed at least three homes and three buildings north of Nederland in Boulder County.
Boulder County Sheriff's Office via AP

Two men were arrested Sunday in connection with a wildfire in Colorado that has charred more than 500 acres and forced nearly 2,000 people from their homes, according to authorities.

Jimmy Andrew Suggs, 28, and Zackary Ryan Kuykendall, 26, have been charged with fourth-degree Arson for allegedly starting a wildfire in Boulder that crews were struggling to get under control Monday, according to the Boulder County Sheriff's office.

Suggs and Kuykendall, both from Alabama, are suspected of building a campfire on private property on Friday and failing to properly put it out before they left their makeshift campsite, according to a statement from the sheriff's office. The men are facing felony charges "because lives were endangered as a result of the fire," the statement said.

The pair was arrested from an evacuation site, and they are being held at the Boulder County Jail, according to the sheriff's office. A woman who was camping with them has not been charged because authorities do not believe she played a part in starting the fire.

A plane approaches the Cold Springs fire as the fire spread rapidly due to heavy winds in Nederland, Colorado, on July 10. Autumn Parry / Boulder Daily Camera via AP

The fire, which was reported Saturday, ballooned to 536 acres by Monday, sparking road closures and mandatory evacuation orders for 1,991 residents, according to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management. At least three homes have been wrecked by the fire, the office said.

The fire is zero percent contained and "conditions are considered unstable and extremely dry," creating a challenge for crews trying to keep the blaze from consuming more homes, the office of emergency management said.

Meanwhile, people evacuated from 700 homes due to a fire burning in Los Angeles County were able to return Sunday. That fire had burned 1,100 acres, and was 65 percent contained Monday, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.