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Hunter May Face Charges For Igniting Yosemite's Rim Fire

12/06/2013 04:54 pm ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The hunter whose campfire caused the catastrophic Rim Fire in Yosemite might soon face charges.

Tuolumne County District Attorney Michael Knowles announced on his website Thursday that federal prosecutors intend to to charge an unnamed suspect whose illegal campfire in the Stanislaus National Forest sparked one of the largest fires in California history this August.

Federal prosecutors have declined to comment on Knowles’ announcement.

The two-month fire consumed over 257,000 acres, cost $127 million to fight and totaled $50 million in structural loss, causing "unprecedented" damage.

The National Park Service estimates that as many as 90 percent of wildfires are caused by human activity, but charges against those who ignite them depend on the recklessness of their actions.

For instance, the target shooter who ignited a fire on Mount Diablo in September will not face charges, but the man who started the 2004 Bear Fire near Redding by mowing dry grass in spite of warnings was sentenced to four years in prison.

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Rim Fire Near Yosemite National Park
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