Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Action expected against seven in Fish Fire case


September 22, 2022

In a statement for the public, Sheriff Jeff Hodge assures citizens that authorities are pursuing potential action against the individuals who are believed to have been involved in causing the Fish Fire.

“The Crook County Sheriff’s Office along with Crook County Prosecutor Joe Baron will be working in partnership with the Federal Authorities to determine what consequences shall be pursued for the seven suspected individuals involved in either starting the Fish Fire or were present at the time it was started,” he says.

The Fish Fire began on private land on the morning of July 31 and quickly spread onto land controlled by other jurisdictions, including the U.S. Forest Service.

It eventually grew to 6793 acres in size and was battled by an interagency effort that at one point involved an estimated 500 personnel at any one time, under the command of the Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team.

It was determined fairly quickly that the fire was human-caused and an investigation began into the circumstances. Due to the fact that it began on private land, any person involved in causing it would have been in violation of the county burn ban that was in effect at that time.

According to Hodge, a meeting was recently held with federal authorities, who at this time will be turning their case in to the U.S. Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

“The case will be reviewed and could either be pursued civilly or criminally,” he says.

“If it is decided to be civil by the federal authorities, Crook County will proceed with a criminal case involving Wyoming State statutes and county burn ban violations.”


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