56 Fire in Park County is now 100% contained. Pike & San Isabel National Forests Cimarron & Comanche National Grasslands Fire Information.

56 Fire in Park County is now 100% contained. Pike & San Isabel National Forests Cimarron & Comanche National Grasslands Fire Information.

A man is facing a slew of charges after allegedly driving off trail and starting a campfire that got out of control and burned more than 40 acres over the weekend in Colorado.

The blaze, dubbed the "56 Fire," sparked on Saturday in the Lost Park area about 4.2 miles east of Jefferson in Park County off Road 56 and Forest Service Road 130.

Phillip N Riker was arrested on multiple charges including intentionally setting a wildfire-felony 3, second degree arson-felony 4, unlawful conduct on public property, and driving under suspension. 

Officials say Riker called 911 to report the fire and remained in the area until crews arrived. 

As of 4:30 p.m., Sunday evening, firefighters reported 100% containment of the 56 Fire. Fire engines, a hand crew from the Forest Services, a large airtanker, two single-engine air tankers, and one Type 2 Helicopter were used in controlling the fire.

Riker was booked in the Park County Jail and released on bond Sunday evening.

"The Park County Sheriff's Office will aggressively pursue persons that have committed any criminal act that results in the destruction of land or structures in our County," the press release states.

Thanks goes out to the responding agencies who assisted in the fire including Park County Communications, Jefferson/Como Fire Protection District (FPD), Platte Canyon FPD, Lake George FPD, North West FPD, South Park Ambulance District, Forest Service, Fairplay Police Department, Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Teams from the US Forest Service

No injuries occurred or structures were lost from the fire. 

Breanna Sneeringer writes about news, adventure, and more for OutThere Colorado as a Digital Content Producer. She is an avid adventure seeker and wildflower enthusiast. Breanna joined OutThere Colorado in September 2018.


Get OutThere

Signup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.

(8) comments


If this was accidental, please don't put such harsh punishments on him. He did the right thing, called for help and stayed at the scene.

Rioters have destroyed whole cities and have gotten away scott free.

This is crazy!


Why do they think he started the fire deliberately? If he did, then he needs to be in jail or an institution.


I simply do not understand how a campfire can get out of control, we spent many many years if not decades of enjoying our camping in the high country and have never ever had a campfire get out of control. Are some people simply that stupid and irresponsible?


It's because out of town people make there own disturbing rules not respecting our state. Coloradans know the fire ban. It's those foreigners who think it's cool to put others in danger. Yes he deserves paying for it like anyone else. Imagine if he didn't day anything and lives were lost.


Riker did the responsible thing to report the fire and is getting the book thrown at him. If he had just ran away instead of report it, he would probably not be in so much trouble and a lot more of the beautiful high country would be burnt.

Hope that the prosecutors wake up!


I completely agree with you! Unless he intentionally set this fire, he should not be charged. Even the forest service loses control of practice fires. It happens! Also, if no one was harmed and there was no structural damage, why all the severe punishments? Maybe just have him pay for resources, community service or something!


You must be a foreigner here in Colorado to say that?


Says the "Native" with an out of state zip code! Go back to Atlanta fool.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.