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Burley Man ordered to pay over $79,000 in restitution for causing 5 fires on BLM land
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Burley Man ordered to pay over $79,000 in restitution for causing 5 fires on BLM land

From the July crime report: Downtown Twin Falls stabbing, Burley bike chase, sex abuse and more series
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POCATELLO — A Burley man has been sentenced to pay more than $79,000 in restitution for setting five fires in the Milner Recreation area.

According to court records, Scott Halford, 50, set the fires in the area west of Burley on Bureau of Land Management land.

“The fires burned hundreds of acres of grass and brush,” a Department of Justice statement said. “Investigation into the fires determined Halford was in the vicinity of all five fires based on surveillance photographs and witness statements. Halford was photographed driving towards or away from the origin area of two fires within minutes of the fires being reported. Halford admitted in court that he caused the fires.”

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Harford was charged with causing a fire, other than a campfire or the industrial flaring of gas, to be ignited by any source. Along with $79,800 in restitution, Halford was ordered to serve six months of home confinement and five years of probation.

“This is a reminder that the public has a major role to play in fire safety,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Gonzalez. “Everyone must remain vigilant, especially during our extended fire season. We are surrounded by public lands, many acres of which are arid. Cheatgrass is everywhere. It is a fuel that creates dangerous fire conditions, especially in summer. Even lawfully minded citizens need to be careful of setting accidental fires.”

Gonzales credited the cooperative efforts of the BLM and the Cassia County Sheriff’s Office, which led to charges.

Over the past three years, a total of more than 1,900 human-caused wildfires have burned more than 500,000 acres in Idaho, according to National Interagency Fire Center statistics. So far in 2021, more than 300 human-caused wildfires have burned more than 8,800 acres of land in the state.

Federal and state land management agencies in Idaho are urging the public to take all precautions to prevent human-caused wildfires, and property owners to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire to their homes and land, in the face of extreme statewide conditions outlined by the National Interagency Fire Center.

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