Man Arrested for Allegedly Lighting Grass Fire Intentionally in Colorado

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Gustavo Garello/Getty Images)

A man has reportedly been arrested for allegedly lighting a grass fire intentionally near Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

OutThere Colorado reported that the man, identified as John Leavins, was charged with 4th-degree arson after intentionally setting a grass fire along I-25. El Paso Country Sheriff’s Office members and engines from Fountain Fire Department arrived on the scene and quickly suppressed the grass fire. Leavins was then located and arrested. 

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office released a statement about the situation. “Based on the information provided by 9-1-1 called and a witness on scene, Deputies were able to locate and arrest the suspect nearby identified as John Leavins.”

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office then thanked the Fountain Fire Department for their quick response. And they suppressed of the grass fire before it could spread to other dry spots and vegetation in the area. “We additionally would like to thank those who called 911 and provided the detailed suspect information with which our deputies were able to make a quick arrest, possibly preventing him from continuing these acts and further endangering the public.”

According to the Colorado Judicial Branch, the “elements” of the crime of fourth-degree arson are as follows. “That the defendant in the state of Colorado, at or about the date and placed charged, knowingly or recklessly [started or maintained a fire, caused an explosion] on his own property or that of another, and by doing so placed another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury.”

Colorado Springs Fire Department Warns Residents to ‘Be Fire Safe’ Following a Small Grass Fire Broke Out 

Prior to the incident on I-25, the Colorado Springs Fire Department sent out a warning to residents to be “fire safe” after a small grass fire broke out. 

The fire department confirmed that the grass fire was in the area of Astrozon Boulevard and Hancock Expressway. The fire was notably knocked out and the crews moped up “hotspots” in the area. It was noted that grasses are once again drying out. This was a warning to those in the area lighting fires nearby. 

Meanwhile, there have been multiple small fires breaking out in Northwest Colorado. Steamboat Pilot reported that witnesses quickly extinguished a grass fire on U.S. Highway 40 south of Steamboat Springs at the beginning of September. The first started in the early hours of the day at the base of a telephone pole. It was across the street from Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports Ranch. It was noted that by the time the eyewitnesses came to help, the fire was quickly spreading. 

Routt County ended up going under a Stage 1 fire restriction at the beginning of September. This prohibits open fires outside of an established campground, picnic area, or developed recreation site. It applies to all private and state land in the county.