Man who started 200-acre wildfire near Fruita sentenced to public service |

Man who started 200-acre wildfire near Fruita sentenced to public service

GRAND JUNCTION (AP) — A man who admitted accidentally starting a wildfire that burned about 200 acres along the Colorado River has been sentenced to 80 hours of public service under a plea agreement.

The Daily Sentinel reported that Mike “Marlow” Mewborn was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty last month to damaging state parks property on Skipper Island near Fruita and starting a fire by burning used toilet paper in April.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Springer said the penalty reflected Mewborn’s lack of a criminal history and his cooperation.

In court, Mewborn again apologized and said he was surprised by how fast the fire grew out of control. He said he has burned toilet paper many times while camping in the northern Rockies and was shocked by how flammable conditions were.

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