Juvenile charged in southwest Colo. wildfire that burned 10,000 acres

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Weber Fire in southwest Colorado. June 23, 2012

Weber Fire in southwest Colorado. June 23, 2012

DENVER — A juvenile is charged for starting the Weber Fire that burned 10,000 acres in southwestern Colorado, the U.S Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

The suspect, whose name has not been released because of age, is charged with two counts of juvenile delinquency

The fire began June 22 and burned for 15 days forcing 140 residents out of their homes and causing over $5 million in damages according to the U.S. Attorney.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office released a statement alleging that the juvenile willfully ignited fire to underbrush and flammable material.

“Specifically, the juvenile gathered up leaves and underbrush around a bush, and using a Bic lighter, lit the underbrush causing it to burn and ignite nearby timber, all located on Bureau of Land Management [property].”

The suspect is expected to appear in federal court in Durango.

If convicted, the defendant could be tried as an adult with a possible prison term and restitution.

Story by Paula Vargas