Man accused of starting Spring Fire to face trial on 141 arson counts

Posted at 9:57 AM, Sep 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-21 17:17:08-04

COSTILLA COUNTY, Colo. – The man accused of starting the Spring Fire, the third largest wildfire in Colorado history, will face a trial on 141 felony counts of first-degree arson.

Jesper Joergensen, 52, was bound over for trial on the counts after a preliminary hearing this week. He faces one count of first-degree arson for each building that was destroyed in the fire, which burned more than 100,000 acres in southern Colorado this summer.

Joergensen, a Danish national, was charged on July 12 after he was arrested July 7 on suspicion of arson charges in connection to the massive fire.

His visa had allegedly expired, so Immigration and Customs Enforcement put an immigration detainer on him following his arrest. He had told authorities he'd built a fire pit that got out of control.

Courts spokesman Rob McCallum said Joergensen’s next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 4. Court records show Joergensen is being held on a $50,000 bond.