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Idaho man ordered to pay $1.7 million following wildfire

A wildfire fire burns near Table Rock in Boise, Idaho, in this June 30, 2016 photo. The U.S. Forest Service and Idaho have forged agreements leading to more logging on federal land in what officials say could become a template for other Western states and reduce the severity of wildfires. (Joe Jaszewski / Associated Press)
A wildfire fire burns near Table Rock in Boise, Idaho, in this June 30, 2016 photo. The U.S. Forest Service and Idaho have forged agreements leading to more logging on federal land in what officials say could become a template for other Western states and reduce the severity of wildfires. (Joe Jaszewski / Associated Press)

IDAHO FALLS – An eastern Idaho man who started a wildfire with illegal fireworks near the eastern Idaho city of Idaho Falls has been ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution.

The Post Register reported that 21-year-old Kristian Lopez of Ammon didn’t appear Friday at the restitution hearing in the Bonneville County Courthouse where Magistrate Judge Steven Gardner granted the default judgment.

Lopez was shooting bottle rockets on Aug. 21, 2016, when one ignited a wildfire that scorched 81 square miles that included a wildlife refuge and farmland.

He told investigators he and his friends tried to extinguish the blaze but failed.

Lopez in September 2016 pleaded guilty to misdemeanor malicious injury to property and in December 2016 was sentenced to a suspended sentence of 180 days in jail.


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