May 182012
Authors: Elisabeth Willner

A man whose alcohol-fueled camp stove started the Hewlett Gulch Fire will be fined and pursued for restitution, federal authorities said today.

The U.S. Forest Service issued a citation to James J. Weber, a Fort Collins resident and CSU employee, for starting the now 7,700-acre fire.

Weber, a licensed clinical social worker, works at the CSU Health Network as a counselor, according to a report by the Coloradoan.

Weber was camping on the Hewlett Gulch Trail Monday afternoon when his stove started the fire. He attempted to stomp out the flames but fled as the fire spread. He later reported what had happened to the Larimer County Sheriff’s office.

According to a press release, no cell phone service was available at the starting location of the fire.

The USFS will fine Weber $300, including a $25 processing fee and possible restitution for the damage caused by the fire. Weber will be fined under 36 CFR Section 261.5 for “causing timber, trees, slash, brush or grass to burn except as authorized by permit.”

He will not face criminal charges. Neither Weber nor his lawyer could be reached for comment.

News Editor Elisabeth Willner can be reached at

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