Illegal Immigrant Arrested For Starting A Colorado Fire That Charred 40K Acres

Photo of Chris White By CHRIS WHITE, Energy Reporter

Colorado authorities arrested an illegal immigrant Saturday for allegedly starting a string of wildfires in the state that have consumed more than 40,000 acres and has not yet been contained.

Jesper Joergensen was apprehended after the announcement was made at a community meeting, the Costilla County Sheriff’s Office confirmed. Joergensen is not a U.S. citizen and will be given to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after he faces arson charges, a Costilla County official said at the meeting.

An investigation from the Costilla County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and ICE ultimately led officials to Joergensen. It is not yet clear what nationality he holds.

“The initial cause of the fire was human caused,” the sheriff’s department said in a Facebook post. Local reports show the fire has grown 41,292 acres and is zero percent contained. The Costilla County Board of Supervisors has meanwhile declared the affected areas a disaster.

“As you can see by the plumes behind us, it’s not a great day for firefighting,” one official said during a news conference addressing the dry conditions and extreme heat that swept across Colorado. (RELATED: The 2018 Wildfire Season Is On Track To Be As Bad As Last Year’s, US Forest Chief Says)

Roughly 215 firefighters are battling the inferno, which is located about three hours south of Denver. Aerial firefighting efforts are also being used as conditions permit. The county also announced Saturday a slew of pre-evacuation orders for Huerfano County and other nearby areas.

The fire Joergensen allegedly started is one of several fires that are rumbling across the state amid dry, hot and windy conditions. A lightening strike sparked the Sugarloaf Fire in the Williams Fork Range near Silverthorne, Colorado – it has consumed more than 1,300 acres of land.

A massive fire burning near Durango in southwestern Colorado broke out June 1 and has charred more than 73 square miles, local reports note. It’s only 37 percent contained and remains under investigation. A fire near the Rocky Mountain National Park prompted evacuation orders Thursday for 300 homes.


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3 Responses to Illegal Immigrant Arrested For Starting A Colorado Fire That Charred 40K Acres

  1. C E Voigtsberger July 5, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Well, as I read the article nowhere is any official quoted as saying he is in this country illegally. The reference to referring him to ICE upon completion of court proceedings would apply to any non-citizen who has committed a felony. Even if one holds a “green card” conviction of a felony and some misdemeanors will make one eligible for the attention of the ICE. There are some crimes that will make even a naturalized citizen eligible for revocation of U.S. citizenship and deportation. For instance, if the authorities have reason to believe your name is really Heinz Von Clauswitz and you were a guard at Treblinka, even though you have been a model citizen in the U.S. since 1955, it is goodby USA, hello Germany and prosecution under the war crimes act.

  2. William Hicks July 4, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Anyone separated him from his children yet?

  3. Sheryl July 4, 2018 at 6:35 am

    From Denmark, no less …


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