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BLM issues citations against suspect accused of starting Helena wildfire

Posted at 6:10 PM, Sep 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-19 20:13:46-04

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued two citations against an individual accused of starting the North Hills Fire in Helena.

The North Hills Fire burned more than 5,000 acres this past July and August, which caused evacuations of homes in the area.

The suspect has been cited with one count of causing a fire other than a campfire and one count of burning timber trees, slash and brush outside of a campfire.

Each ticket has a fine of $500 plus a $30 processing fee, for a total fine of $1,060.

BLM Butte Office Field Manger Scott Haight told MTN the agency is not releasing the name of the suspect because the case remains under investigation.

“There is also a potential backlash component,” said Haight. “There are some folks still upset-- and I don’t blame them-- but we want to make sure this individual receives a fair hearing.”

The complaint will be filed through the federal court system and the suspect will have 30 days to respond.

The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office have reported the cause of the North Hills Fire was someone shooting at exploding Tannerite targets.