Officials are saying that the blaze that burned nearly 8,000 acres of grass, brush and timber in the Roosevelt National Forest should be fully contained as of Tuesday.
As of Monday evening, firefighters had continued making progress and contained 94 percent of the on the Hewlett fire in Poudre Canyon with no discernable fire growth, according to InciWeb. The fire was last reported as smoldering with some remaining hot spots that are expected to produce more smoke today with high temperatures expected to return to the area.
Hundreds of firefighters, supported by water and retardant drops by air, have been battling the wildfire since last Monday. The Denver Post reports that the fire crews made serious gains on containment Saturday when they were aided by lower temperatures and about a half inch of rain, giving them the opportunity to nearly double the level of containment in a single day -- on Friday night the fire was only 45 percent contained, by Saturday containment was at 85 percent.
As of Monday night, the cost of fighting the fire which burned 7,685 acres, needed 370 firefighters and three helicopters reached $3.2 million.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said that 56-year-old James Weber of Fort Collins, a mental health counselor at Colorado Sate University, started the fire with an outdoor stove while camping in the Roosevelt National Forest, according to The Associated Press.
Weber reportedly tried to stamp out the fire himself, but the blaze spread nonetheless and he later reported starting the fire to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. Weber was issued a citation for causing a fire without a permit and faces a $300 fine, however authorities intend to pursue restitution for the wildfire.
Leaving many wondering is Weber on the hook for the $3.2 million to date? According to the Department of Justice, many factors including ability to pay and Weber's culpability will play into determining an appropriate sum of money, 9News reports.
Joseph Gavaldon, Weber's attorney who says the fire was started on accident, said Weber is "very concerned" about the welfare of everyone affected by the fire and defended the character of his client to 9News, "He's a darn good guy," Gavaldon said. "He's an exceptionally responsible person."
All evacuations in the wildfire area were lifted last Thursday and Friday and no buildings were damaged in the blaze.
On Friday, Gov. John Hickenlooper declared the fire an emergency making $3 million in state emergency funding available for the firefighting efforts, the LA Times reported.
For official fire maps and updates from the ground, visit InciWeb.
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