Target shooters take plea deal for starting major Utah wildfire

Feb 5 2013 - 4:09pm

Images

FILE - Smoke and flames are seen over homes as the Dump Fire burns near Saratoga Springs, Utah on Friday, June 22, 2012. Weeks after the fire has been put out, a new fire of sorts has flared in Saratoga Springs about how the unfortunately monikered Dump Fire got its name. Saratoga Springs officials and residents are not happy to say the least that the fire over Alpine got the picturesque name of Quail Fire while their fire got something, er, a touch less elegant. (AP Photo/Daily Herald, Jim McAuley)
FILE - Smoke and flames are seen over homes as the Dump Fire burns near Saratoga Springs, Utah on Friday, June 22, 2012. Weeks after the fire has been put out, a new fire of sorts has flared in Saratoga Springs about how the unfortunately monikered Dump Fire got its name. Saratoga Springs officials and residents are not happy to say the least that the fire over Alpine got the picturesque name of Quail Fire while their fire got something, er, a touch less elegant. (AP Photo/Daily Herald, Jim McAuley)

 

SALT LAKE CITY -- Two target shooters have taken a plea deal for igniting a major wildfire southeast of Salt Lake City last summer using explosive targets for effect.

The deal keeps the men out of jail, drops one of the two misdemeanor charges and requires the target shooters to pay $10,000 for a fire that cost taxpayers $2 million to fight.

The Dump Fire in June forced 600 families to flee Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain and left some houses with smoke damage. Three months later, a 100-year rain storm poured down a barren mountainside into Saratoga Springs, carrying a mudslide that damaged several homes.

Court records show 42-year-old Jeffery Conant of Utah and 38-year-old Kenneth Nielson of Washington state pleaded no contest Monday to using an exploding target. Utah County prosecutors dropped a second charge of reckless burning.

 

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