Montana Man Pays $1K in Fines for Starting Fire Near Helena
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana resident has paid more than $1,000 to the Bureau of Land Management for starting a fire triggering the evacuation of about 500 homes near Helena this summer.
The Independent Record reported Thursday that Joshua Kiilsgaard paid the agency Oct. 12 for two citations issued after the fire burned about 8 square miles (2 square meters) of land in July.
The newspaper reported agency officials declined to release the name of the person cited despite a formal request by the Independent Record. Instead, Kiilsgaard was named as the defendant in documents released this week by the Central Violations Bureau housed under the federal court system.
Authorities say Kiilsgaard is suspected of shooting an exploding target on an informal gun range on federal land.
Authorities say no criminal charges were filed at the state level.
Kiilsgaard did not respond to Facebook messages seeking comment and a phone number could not be reached.
Officials say the citations do not include the costs associated with suppressing the wildfire or rehabilitating the burned area.