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Idaho Conviction in Wildfire

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  • Idaho Conviction in Wildfire

    POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) - A Salt Lake City man faces up to six
    months in jail and a $300 fine for igniting a wildfire that burned
    4,000 acres of southeastern Idaho range this summer.
    Dale Takeo, 41, will be sentenced Nov. 12.
    Bannock County Magistrate Judge Gaylen Box found Takeo, a
    transient, guilty of a misdemeanor after prosecutors reduced the
    charge from felony third-degree arson. He was charged with starting
    the July 21 Harkness Fire between McCammon and Lava Hot Springs.
    "The only thing we could prove in this case is that it was
    careless or negligent," Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dennis
    Wilkinson said. A felony conviction would have required proof that
    Takeo intentionally started the blaze.
    The fire forced the evacuation of about 40 homes before it
    consumed two houses and two outbuildings. It also destroyed
    critical winter range for deer. It cost about $1 million to
    suppress.
    Wilkinson said Takeo was camping a mile up Harkness Canyon Road
    and lit a piece of paper on fire. The wind blew the paper out of
    his hand and started the fire.
    The conviction, Wilkinson said, is only "a moral victory as the
    victims of the fire lost so much and will continue to clean up the
    damage long after Takeo has served his sentence."

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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