No criminal charges filed for midvalley fire |

No criminal charges filed for midvalley fire

CARBONDALE ” No criminal charges will be pursued against the person responsible for a controlled burn that raged out of control Tuesday and threatened 300 homes, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office investigators concluded Thursday.

The sheriff’s office “has determined that the Carbondale County Road 100 Fire was not the result of arson or a malicious act,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

The fire was ruled accidental. “The event was started when excessive winds exposed the smoldering embers below the surface of a controlled burn in the area which began spreading the embers from the immediate controlled burn area,” the statement said.

Because of the findings, “no criminal charges are being contemplated at this time,” said sheriff’s office spokeswoman Tamra Blackard.

The name of the person who started the “controlled burn” wasn’t released.

Four homes received minor damage in the blaze. A fisherman on the Roaring Fork River was burned on an arm when he fled the fast-moving flames. His injuries weren’t considered life-threatening.

The cost of fighting the fire was estimated to exceed $100,000 by Carbondale Fire Chief Ron Leach.

See Friday’s Aspen Times for more details on the investigation into the cause of the fire.

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