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Cold Springs Fire Starters Ordered To Pay $1 Million

By Stan Bush

NEDERLAND, Colo. (CBS4)- Two transients who sparked a wildfire in Nederland over the summer that destroyed eight homes and burned hundreds of acres, will not go to prison.

Jimmy Suggs, 28, and Zackary Kuykendall, 26 were sentenced Friday to two years' work release out of the Boulder County Jail, 4 years' probation, and will have to pay more than $1 million in restitution.

Zachary Ryan Kuykendall, Jimmy Andrew Suggs
Zachary Ryan Kuykendall, left, and Jimmy Andrew Suggs, right (credit: Boulder County)

The pair avoided a more severe sentence because the fire was started accidentally.

"They've wasted enough time and money of ours and hurt a lot of people," says Nederland Fire Chief Rick Dirr.

Dirr fought on the front lines of the fire and was also a victim. His property was damaged by the wildfire. A captain at the Nederland Volunteer Fire Department had his home destroyed.

Cold Springs Fire
(credit: CBS)

Still, the sentiment of many Nederland residents has been that the sentence is fair considering the circumstances that started the fire. Dirr says the problem is the larger transient camping issue facing Nederland, which has become a hub for homeless campers in the summer months.

Cold Springs Wildfire 11 (Joe McManus)
John and Annie Bonvoulior's home in the foreground of the Cold Springs Fire (credit: Joe McManus)

"I saw three state campfires get out of control last year we had another one this year that we caught and these guys are symptom of the problem," says Dirr. "So, as much as I want to be really mad at them - I'm mad at them, but other people do the same thing and just we got lucky enough to catch the fires."

Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.

Wildfire Resources

- Visit CBSDenver.com's Living With Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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