Man ordered to pay $100,000 restitution for wildfire |

Man ordered to pay $100,000 restitution for wildfire

GOLDEN ” A man accused of accidentally starting a 102-acre wildfire last year has been ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution for firefighting costs.

John Carter Rowley, 62, was burning dead branches and debris on property his family owns in Jefferson County when gusting winds blew the fire out of control.

At least four homes were evacuated and residents of hundreds of other homes were put on alert. Firefighters estimated their costs at $120,000.

Rowley received a two-year deferred sentence for fourth-degree arson at a court hearing Tuesday. Two other charges were dismissed.

Rowley, a retired biomedical researcher who lives in Fort Collins, called the judgment fair.

“It was a tough situation. It was just an accident,” he said.

A fire ban was in force at the time, but Rowley said he didn’t know about it.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User