Volunteer firefighter Alex Averette accused of starting wildfire that forced evacuation of Elbert

Wildfire burned 600 acres in June 2012

ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. - A 19-year-old Elbert County volunteer firefighter was arrested Tuesday and accused of starting a June wildfire that burned 600 acres and forced the evacuation of the town of Elbert, authorities said.   

Alex J. Averette, a volunteer for the Elbert Fire Protection District, was being held at the Elbert County Jail on charges of intentionally setting a wildfire, second-degree arson, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and second-degree criminal trespass, said Elbert County Sheriff's Lt. Michelle Mattive . His bond was set at $50,000.

Averette is accused of starting the County Road 102 Fire, north of the town of Elbert, just before noon on June 24, Mattive said.

More than 100 firefighters and law enforcement officers -- along with two air tankers -- were involved in the initial attack on the fire.

The wildfire forced the evacuation of Elbert and surrounding areas.

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