A firefighter maneuvers his position while crews battle a fire in Connected Lakes Park near the Redlands Safeway store on Thursday afternoon.

A male juvenile faces several charges stemming from the July 4 brushfire in Grand Junction that caused seven homes to be evacuated.

It is believed the juvenile started the fire by setting off an illegal firework in the rugged trail area near Connected Lakes State Park below Redlands neighborhood homes on Riverview and Skyway drives.

The suspect, who's name is being withheld, is charged with tampering with physical evidence, a class 6 felony, fourth degree arson, a class 2 misdemeanor and unlawful use, sale or possession of fireworks, a class 3 misdemeanor, according to Mesa County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Megan Terlecky.

The tampering with physical evidence charge stems from the suspect attempting to remove fireworks from the scene, Terlecky said.

The Riverview Fire, as it's been named, burned nine acres on the summer holiday as fire crews from across the region worked through the afternoon to keep it away from homes.

Grand Junction Fire Department spokeswoman Ellis Thompson-Ellis said crews responded to the fire as early as 3 p.m. that Thursday and didn't leave until it was out at 10 p.m.

She said from the fire department alone, five fire apparatuses responded, including trucks, engines and equipment for fighting wildfires and brush fires, two ambulances, a battalion chief, four administrative chiefs and a public information officer.

The Grand Junction Police Department responded with eight officers who helped with traffic control and evacuations.

A large radio communication vehicle was also provided by the Incident Dispatch Team, along with three dispatchers.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office sent in six patrol deputies, two fire deputies, two engines and more, according to Thompson-Ellis.

The Bureau of Land Management used a type I helicopter to help put out the fire after strong winds put homes in danger.  The day after the fire, officials directly credited the helicopter for saving homes.

According to BLM spokesperson David Boyd, the helicopter used on July 4 is based in Rifle. He said it made 28 drops totalling 49,876 gallons of water.

Although he did not have an official estimate as far as what the overall cost to fight the fire was, Boyd said the cost of the helicopter on this fire was $21,223.

Mesa County was on a red flag warning day on the Fourth of July as wind, low relative humidity and dry fuels made the region particularly susceptible to fire.

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