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'Careless' homeowner started Park County wildfire, sheriff says

The Badger Creek Fire burned 41 acres and forced an evacuation of nearby residents.

PARK COUNTY, Colo. — The Park County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that a homeowner's "careless actions" sparked a wildfire that burned 41 acres and forced evacuations about 27 miles south of the town of Hartsel.

The wildfire Wednesday afternoon started on private property and in violation of the local fire ban, the Sheriff's Office said. The fire moved slowly west and northwest near Latigo Loop and McMurray Road.

As of Thursday morning, the fire was 100% contained, but people living within a 5-mile radius of Badger Creek Ranch were under evacuation orders for several hours Wednesday.

No structures were lost. A firefighter suffered superficial burns during the response.

Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw will pursue criminal charges related to the wildfire's cause, the Sheriff's Office said.

"After an investigation, law enforcement believes the fire was a result of a homeowner careless actions on their private property, in violation of the local fire ban," according to the Sheriff's Office. "The fire spread quickly and out of control due to the weather conditions."

Park County is under a Stage 1 Fire Ban.

The Hartsel Fire Protection District, Southern Park County Fire Protection District and federal crews continued to work on hot spots Thursday. Some residents remained under pre-evacuation.

RELATED: Latest forecast

This is a developing situation. This article will be updated as additional information is confirmed.

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