Wildland Firefighting

Hunter Charged with Starting the Rim Fire

A bow hunter who was rescued by a helicopter soon after last year’s devastating Rim Fire broke out near Yosemite National Park was accused Thursday of accidentally igniting the fire, which grew into the largest wildfire in Sierra Nevada history, reports The San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1soxTqR)

A federal grand jury indicted Keith Matthew Emerald, a 32-year-old resident of Columbia in Tuolumne County, on a felony charge of setting fire to a forest as well as misdemeanor counts of leaving a fire unattended and violating local fire restrictions.

Emerald is also charged with one felony count of initially lying to investigators about the cause of the inferno. His arraignment is expected to be next week at the U.S. District Court in Fresno. He has not been arrested.