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Crystal Fire Human Caused, Arrest Expected

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office announced on Monday that the 2,940 acre Crystal Fire was caused by a property owner’s son who was burning a slash pile.

An arrest warrant is expected to be issued for 36 year old Thomas Howie of Fort Collins on a fourth-degree arson charge. Officials said an attorney representing Howie contacted investigators on April 6, five days after the blaze west of Fort Collins began. They say he admitted to starting the fire. Officials have recommended a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

450 people were assigned to the fire during its peak. 13 homes were destroyed and the total cost of fighting the fire is estimated to be approximately $3 million as of April 14.

Email: brian.larson@kunc.org