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Man who started wildfire that prompted evacuations in SW Colorado ordered to pay $200K


CORTEZ, Colorado — A 55-year-old Dolores man who started a wildfire that prompted evacuations in southwest Colorado has been ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution.

The Cortez Journal reports ( ) defendant Roger Stratton did not contest the amount, more than half of which — $109,000 — will go to the U.S. Forest Service. He is solely dependent on Social Security benefits, so he isn't expected to pay off the total restitution amount anytime soon.

Stratton, who pleaded guilty to fourth-degree arson, acknowledged burning leaves on his property when the wind caused the fire to spread out of control. The Roatcap Fire burned more than 400 acres and prompted evacuations of about 30 homes in Montezuma County after it started Oct. 24, 2012.

Information from: Cortez Journal,

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