Man accused of starting Roatcap wildfire appears in court

Roger Stratton accused of burning trash

CORTEZ, Colo. - A 53-year-old Dolores man accused of starting a wildfire that prompted evacuations in southwest Colorado has appeared in court on several charges.

The Cortez Journal reports Roger Stratton appeared in Montezuma County Court on Wednesday on one felony count of fourth-degree arson and misdemeanor counts of endangerment and arson with property damage more than $100.

The Roatcap Fire burned more than 400 acres and prompted evacuations of about 30 homes in Montezuma County after it started Oct. 24.

Sheriff Dennis Spruell has said the fire wasn't set intentionally, but was done so carelessly and put authorities and residents in danger. Authorities have said the fire was sparked by someone burning trash on private land.

Residents have since been allowed to return home. No structures were lost.

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