Idaho Firefighter Faces Arson Charges
   2006-08-27 03:13:40       Reuters
A federal firefighter in Idaho is facing arson charges linked to least one blaze in an act that may have been motivated by a desire to produce some firefighting work, officials said on Friday.

Levy Miller, 21, is in Lemhi County Jail charged with starting an August 13 blaze on the outskirts of Salmon, an area of thick forests and natural beauty, officials said. The half-acre blaze was snuffed out quickly by fire crews.

Lemhi County Sheriff Sam Slavin said Miller, who has worked as a firefighter with the federal Bureau of Land Management for two years, persuaded a Salmon teen to start the August 13 fire "to drum up business."

Miller is also a suspect in a series of 2003 fires that broke out in the Salmon-Challis National Forest near the Idaho-Montana border. "We're looking potentially at a lot of dollars in damages," Slavin said.

News of Miller's arrest comes at the height of the American West's wildfire season, with large tracts of Idaho, Montana and Washington state aflame amid worsening conditions.

There is a growing list of firefighters accused of arson in the treasured natural areas they were paid to protect.

A federal judge last month sentenced former U.S. Forest Service firefighter Craig Underwood to four months in prison after he pleaded guilty to starting three fires -- costing $2.5 million (1.3 million pounds) to extinguish -- in the Los Padres National Forest in California in 2004.

Fire managers say an age-old irony associated with wildfires in the West is that the blazes pump millions into moribund local economies in the form of jobs, federal firefighting dollars and the purchase of products and services by fire personnel.

Terry Edwards, deputy state fire marshal in Idaho, said "an excuse to get a paycheck" was often cited by firefighters as the reason they set blazes.

Recommend claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. All rights reserved. Reproduction of text for non-commercial purposes only is permitted provided that both the source and author are acknowledged and a notifying email is sent to us. holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

 Also on our site
China | World
• Russian Natural Gas Supplies to Balkans Halted
• Three Israeli Soldiers Killed in Friendly Fire in Gaza
• Polanski's Lawyers Seek to Have Sex Case Dismissed
• Foreign Journalists still Not Allowed into Gaza
• US VP-elect Joe Biden to Visit Pakistan
• China Curbs Overseas Trips on Public Expense
Business | Sports | SciTech
• China Issues Long-awaited 3G Licenses
• Wahaha, Danone Start Trademark Arbitration
• GM Reports 31 Percent Sales Decline in U.S. Market
• Call for More Overseas Talents
• Bulgarian Figure Skating Champion Sentenced to 2.5 Years in Prison
• China's Mission to Mars Set for Take-off
Life | Showbiz
• A Seemingly Endless Scandal
• Asian Art Top Show Kicks off in Beijing
• Behind-the-Scene Photos of "Look for a Star"
• Universal Pictures Movies Set New B.O. Record in 2008
• Tan Dun's Deep Pool of talent
• Top 10 Shows in 2008 
• China Drive, Afternoon, 2009-01-07
• China Drive, Afternoon, 2009-01-06
• China Drive, Morning, 2009-01-06
• Official Property Declaration System
• India handed over evidence of Mumbai attacks to Pakistan
• EU delegation holds talks to push for a cease-fire in Gaza
• Mubarak Meets with EU Troika on Gaza Situation
• Bush says any Gaza ceasefire must stop Hamas rocket fire
View the Messages
Director: Liu Chi    Designer: Zhang Nan
Pagemaker: VJ  &  Wang Dandan