Utah man charged in $34 mil­lion wild­fire

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

SALT LAKE CITY — A man ac­cused of ac­ci­den­tally spark­ing a Utah wild­fire that forced some 1,500 peo­ple from their homes last month and cost about $34 mil­lion to fight was charged with two mis­de­meanor counts of reck­less burn­ing Tues­day.

Iron County prose­cu­tor Scott Gar­rett said Robert Ray Ly­man, 60, who lives in the Salt Lake City sub­urb of Tay­lorsville, was charged. A mes­sage left for Ly­man seek­ing com­ment wasn’t im­me­di­ately re­turned.

While Gar­rett de­clined fur­ther com­ment about the case, au­thor­i­ties have said the fire started when a man set a pile of weeds on fire, and the blaze raged out of con­trol near a cabin in the ski town of Brian Head on June 17.

The blaze, which torched more than 100 square miles and burned for nearly a month in hot, dry con­di­tions, forced hun­dreds of evac­u­a­tions at homes and cab­ins, and more than a dozen build­ings were de­stroyed.

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