A La Plata County woman has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree arson in connection with a barn fire that resulted in about $125,000 worth of damage.
She is suspected committing a string of small crimes leading up to the fire, including tipping over a porta-potty, smashing windows on a parked street sweeper and dousing the barn with gasoline, all on County Road 502, before returning to set the barn ablaze, said Chris Burke, spokesman with La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.
The alleged criminal activity began at 5:47 p.m. Monday, with the fire being reported at 3:21 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Sheriff’s Office and a news release from the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District.
Firefighters arrived to find an advanced fire that had engulfed the barn, two vehicles, a boat, a trailer and a horse trailer, according to the Upper Pine news release. The fire was also threatening a home and several other vehicles at 2580 County Road 502, northwest of Bayfield.
First responders kept the fire from spreading to nearby structures and into the surrounding forest. But the barn and vehicles were considered a total loss with a combined value of $125,000, according to Upper Pine.
Residents reported the woman for attempted arson the previous night, according to the Upper Pine release.
The Sheriff’s Office was in the process of executing a warrant for the suspect when the fire was reported.
The woman was arrested about 5:16 a.m. Tuesday while attempting to start another fire in the 1000 block of County Road 502, according to Upper Pine.