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Man suspected of starting the Skyline Fire near Horsetooth Reservoir arrested, sheriff’s office says

horsetooth reservoir fire sept2019.jpg
Posted at 12:35 PM, Sep 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-05 18:47:56-04

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. – A man suspected of starting a wildfire near Horsetooth Reservoir Thursday has been arrested.

Just before 11 a.m. deputies with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and rangers from the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources responded to the Skyline Picnic Area at Horsetooth Reservoir on North County Road in Fort Collins regarding a disturbance.

As they responded, they saw smoke on the ridge to the east of the road and once at the scene of the disturbance, officials learned the man involved had walked away.

Robert Crookston McGehee, 34, was found a short time later and was taken into custody. The Fort Collins resident was booked into the Larimer County Jail on suspicion of second-degree and criminal mischief, class 4 and class 6 felonies, respectively.

The wildfire, dubbed by authorities as the Skyline Fire, is located on the east side of the reservoir, near County Road 23. County Road 23 is closed between County Road 42C and County Road 25G. Authorities said aircraft were being called in to help battle the fire.

As of 4:30 p.m., the blaze was 100% contained. The burned area was estimated to be 16.2 acres in size. Hot spots and smoke will likely be visible through the night, Poudre Fire Authority officials said.

The agency is asking people to avoid the area and say they should expect to see smoke and aircraft in the area.

Anyone with information regarding the Skyline Fire is asked to call Larimer County Sheriff's Office Investigator Justin Atwood at (970) 498-5143.