November 8, 2012

Utah man ordered to pay Maine $74,000 for fire

Richard Wes Coers pleaded no contest this week to a charge of failure to extinguish a fire on Big Spencer Mountain that burned about two acres.

The Associated Press

DOVER-FOXCROFT — A Utah man blamed for causing a fire on a remote central Maine mountaintop has been ordered to pay the state nearly $74,000 in restitution for firefighting efforts.

The Maine Forest Service announced Wednesday that Richard Wes Coers pleaded no contest this week to a charge of failure to extinguish a fire on Big Spencer Mountain, about 20 miles north of Greenville.

The wildfire that started Aug. 4 burned about two acres, but was difficult to tackle because of its location and the rough terrain. In addition to ground crews, helicopters dropped nearly 45,000 gallons of water on the blaze.

Officials say the fire started when embers from an unpermitted burn pile of leftover construction materials were blown by a helicopter airlifting a communication building on the site.

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