An illegal alien residing in Colorado has been arrested for arson after authorities charged him with starting a forest fire that has destroyed more than 40,000 acres of land within the state, reports The Daily Caller.
Jesper Jorgensen, nationality unknown, was arrested by the Costilla County police department but will be handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement according to officials. Jorgensen, aged 52, was tracked down by Costilla County Sheriff's Office with assistance from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), state arson investigators, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE).
Authorities did not give any information as to how exactly they determined that he started the fire.
ABC News reports that the "fire is currently burning in a rural, mountainous region in southern Colorado near Great Sand Dunes National Park." Yesterday, residents were ordered to evacuate their homes.
The blaze has consumed 41,292 acres of land. Authorities are having a difficult time controlling the fire due to non-ideal weather conditions.
“As you can see by the plumes behind us, it’s not a great day for firefighting,” one official said during a press conference.
Colorado is experiencing extremely dry weather. One other forest fire in the state, though much smaller in size, was started after lightning hit a wooded area.
For those seeking shelter, the Pueblo Chieftain reports that "Two evacuation centers were accepting evacuees overnight, the first at the Huerfano Community Center and the second at the Blanca Fort Garland Community Center. Evacuation centers for animals also were set up at the Las Animas County Fairgrounds and the 4-H barn in La Veta."
Photo provided by The Pueblo Chieftain