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Man charged and pleads guilty to starting 2017 forest fire in Idaho wilderness

Crime Watch

SALMON — Federal prosecutors charged a man for starting a forest fire while cooking poached fish in 2017.

Dusty James Rose was charged with misdemeanor permitting a fire to burn beyond control on Tuesday and subsequently pleaded guilty to the charge. Court documents outline how on Aug. 1, 2017, Rose’s cooking fire turned into a forest fire in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

Rose and others were in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area of the forest. Rose started the fire to cook trout recently poached from the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, according to court documents.

“However, no fire pan was used as required, dry cheatgrass surrounded the fire and only a couple of rocks were placed on one side of the fire,” a plea agreement reads. “Once ignited, the fire spread beyond control within a minute.

Rose and those with him tried to put the fire out but were unable to do so. They ran to the river and were rescued from the approaching flames by nearby rafters.

Court documents detail the fire burned up to 1,414 acres of the National Forrest “causing significant damage.”

Rose admitted to law enforcement how he started the fire to cook the illegally caught fish. He said that by his careless actions, he “knowingly and intentionally permitted the fire to burn and spread beyond his control,” the plea agreement reads.

As part of the plea agreement, defense attorneys and prosecutors will recommend a federal judge place Rose on probation, force him to pay a $3,000 fine and have a year ban from National Forest Service Land.

Sentencing for Rose is not yet placed on the court’s calendar.

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