Seasonal Yellowstone Employee Gets Jail Time for Starting Fire
A seasonal employee at Yellowstone National Park was ordered to serve three months in jail and pay $5,000 in restitution for starting a grass fire that burned near the park's north entrance last month.
Curtis J. Faustich admitted to dropping a lit cigarette on the ground while sitting at a picnic table and igniting the fire, the National Park Service said in a press release.
Faustich appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman on Tuesday at the Yellowstone Justice Center in Mammoth Hot Springs and admitted to the charges.
In addition to jail time, Faustich was ordered to serve two years of unsupervised probation and cannot enter Yellowstone National Park for two years.
According to court documents, Faustich was also charged with giving false information to an authorized person.
On July 26, firefighters from Gardiner, Montana and Yellowstone National Park responded to a grass fire near Yellowstone's north entrance. No buildings were damaged during the fire thanks to firefighters' quick response, the Park Service said.
The North Entrance Road was closed for 90 minutes while firefighters battled the blaze.