Terry Lynn Barton, a U.S. Forest Service employee, was arrested today for starting the Hayman wildfire. The story on The Denver Channel website says:
Barton, a forest service technician, was charged with starting a fire in a national forest, making false statements, and damaging federal property, in excess of $1,000, officials said.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Leoni, Barton admitted starting the fire.
“She said she started the fire within the campfire ring while on patrol to look for illegal campfires during the fire ban,” Leoni told shocked reporters. “She said she attempted to put it out but it just got away from her.”
Officials said that Barton was burning “personal papers” in the illegal campfire ring. There was one unconfirmed report that she was burning a letter from her husband.
Barton was the forest service employee who first called in the fire report and described another vehicle leaving the area. The driver of that vehicle was later contacted and said he went to investigate the smoke he saw and called 911 to report it. That driver was not connected with the fire, officials said.
Leoni said Barton was taken into custody “without incident” Sunday morning was being held in the jail in Colorado Springs, Colo.
She faces 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if she is found guilty of all the charges, Leoni said.
I hope she gets the maximum penalty.