Tom Bender noticed three people walking out of the woods.
“These guys started it. Did you guys start that?” he commented as his vehicle cruised past two men and a woman on Saturday afternoon, soon after the wildfire near Nederland started. (The video below was captured by a companion, Cole Bender and is available in full on Facebook.)
A day later, the arrests were announced.
Two men from Alabama were hit with felony charges on accusations they improperly handled their campfire. A woman who was with them wasn’t charged.
Soon after the men’s mugshots were published, the Boulder Daily Camera realized that one of its reporters had interviewed the trio on Saturday.
In that video interview, one of the suspects is wearing an orange shirt and a backpack with a blue tarp, the woman a green shirt and the second suspect a camouflage shirt, all matching Bender’s video.
Authorities say that the men failed to properly douse a campfire they lit on private land. Close to 2,000 people have been forced to evacuate, and at least three homes have been destroyed.
Corrected, July 11: This article originally stated that the suspects are from Georgia. As we reported earlier, they are from Alabama.