Billings man charged with setting wildfire
Updated: Saturday, October 27, 2012 9:29 AM
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) -- A 24-year-old Billings man charged with setting a wildfire that burned more than 24 square miles of land in southwestern Montana and caused $3.8 million in property damage has pleaded not guilty to eight charges of felony arson.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/U1zLD2 ) the Madison County attorney's office filed the charges against Kyler Schmitz earlier this month. He pleaded not guilty during a hearing before District Judge Loren Tucker in Virginia City this week. He is free without bail.
Prosecutors allege Schmitz started the Bear Trap Fire along the Madison River west of Bozeman by setting off a sparkler bomb at a campground on June 25.
The fire burned a house along with pastures, fences, a vehicle, eight horses, transmission lines and more. It cost $1.23 million to suppress.
Information from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com
Copyright 2012 The AP.