Yellowstone asks public for tips on human-caused fire

A man pleaded guilty Tuesday to starting a July fire that spread quickly near Yellowstone National Park's North Entrance Station.

A seasonal employee has pleaded guilty to starting a fire at the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park, the park announced today. 

Curtis J Faustich, a seasonal concessionaire employee in the park, admitted to dropping a lit cigarette on the ground while sitting at a picnic table and igniting the fire, a park news release said. He has been sentenced to three months in jail.

Faustich appeared Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman at the Yellowstone Justice Center in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming. While in court, Faustich pleaded guilty to the charge.

In addition to jail time, his sentence includes $5,000 in restitution and two years of unsupervised probation. He will be prohibited from entering Yellowstone for two years, the news release said.

Park law enforcement officers thanked individuals who called the park’s 24-hour Tip Line (307-344-2132) to provide timely details during an investigation into the cause of the fire. 

The fire started at about 6:00 p.m. July 26 and spread across 4 acres of grass and sage between the North Entrance Station and Gardner River. 

Crews from Yellowstone, the town of Gardiner and Paradise Valley contained blaze, including a half-acre spot fire on the other side of the river. The quick response prevented threats to visitors and buildings, the park said.

Contact Managing Editor Rebecca Huntington at 732-7078 or rebecca@jhnewsandguide.com.

Managing Editor Rebecca Huntington has worked for newspapers across the West. She hosts a rescue podcast, The Fine Line. Her family minivan doubles as her not-so-high-tech recording studio.

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(4) comments

jeff birmingham

This sure looks to be a little over board. Sorry but come on!!!!!!

TERRENCE MILAN

One case was tried in a Federal Court and the other was local, right? So your saying that the child porno guy is out already? What is the usual sentence for that type of possession?

Tim Rieser

Just to better understand the WY judicial system: man accidentally or negligently drops cigarette which causes four acre fire. Had it not started a fire, it would be a small fine. Gets three months. In contrast, wealthy developer and prominent local man Bill Resor is caught with child pornography including the most heinous of all child pornography series. Pleads guilty, gives remorseful speech blaming depression, also gets three months. Just comparing how justice works here......

Jean Reiland

Resor and the judge are buddies.

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