Jesper Joergensen, a 52-year-old, has just been taken into custody under suspicion of arson. The suspect allegedly played a major part in starting the minor fire that spread into an uncontrollable blaze throughout southern Colorado.
The massive fire, dubbed the “Spring Fire” by multiple media outlets, began on June 27. Joergensen started the fire five miles away from Fort Garland, Colorado, but it quickly became out of control and spread to residential areas. Authorities monitoring the blaze ordered evacuations for around 1,500 families residing in Huerfano County and nearly 600 homes around Costilla County. So far, the flames have spread over 38,136 acres.
Dedicated firefighters from nearby areas flooded in to help contain the fires and assist with rescue efforts. So far, an incredible 480 firefighters have assisted with the Spring Fire. Multiple agencies coordinated their efforts to investigate what sparked the fire including the Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs enforcement agency and several arson specialists.
The Costilla County Police Department successfully executed the arrest warrant on June 30. Joergensen was discovered at the Blanca/Fort Garland Community Center attempting to attend a meeting designed for the Spring Fire evacuees. He was apprehended without further incident.
According to CNN news, the main suspect was identified as an illegal immigrant by authorities, so ICE was involved in his arrest. The agency confirmed that Joergensen is not a United States citizen, so he has been placed in detention temporarily. Once his criminal charges are resolved, the suspect will be turned over to ICE agencies to determine whether he is eligible for deportation.