Man charged in accidental fire near upscale Redlands homes

A man who accidentally started a fire in a posh Redlands neighborhood in March has been charged with a misdemeanor for burning woods and prairie land, according to the Grand Junction Fire Department.

Firefighters from around the Grand Valley responded March 18 to a fast-moving wildfire that started in a private, wooded subdivision called the Preserve.

No homes were burned, but the fire jumped Colorado Highway 340 and burned approximately 40 acres.

Fire Department spokesman Mike Page did not release the name of the man who was cited, but he said the fire was started outside the home at 586 Preserve Lane.

Page said the man did not have a permit to be burning, but it’s unclear if the fire was started intentionally to burn off brush or was started by a spark from a chain saw.

According to the Mesa County Assessor’s Office, the home at 586 Preserve Lane is owned by Harold and Mary Barnett.

The citation comes with about a $200 fine, if the recipient pleads guilty.

Page said investigators are considering whether to request restitution for the fire.

Page said fire officials have pressed charges and requested reimbursement over the years against some people who have started fires illegally.


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