Man accused of starting Brian Head Fire booked into jail, released

Robert J. Lyman. Photo: Iron County

CEDAR CITY, Utah, Aug. 2, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — The Taylorsville man charged with reckless burning after officials say he started the Brian Head Fire, which destroyed 13 residences and cost about $34 million to fight, has been booked into jail.

Booking records from Iron County show Robert Ray Lyman, 61, was booked into jail just after 2 p.m. on Tuesday and released later the same day.

Lyman was charged in 5th District Court July 25 with:

• One count of reckless burning, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine, and

• One count of failure to notify authorities or obtain a permit before burning, a Class B misdemeanor, punishable with as much as six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Lyman is scheduled to appear before a judge in Cedar City later this month.

Officials say Lyman sparked the fire on June 17 while burning weeds at a cabin he owns in Iron County. The blaze grew to 71,000 acres — nearly 111 square miles — before it was brought under control. The wildfire destroyed buildings in Brian Head and near Panguitch Lake.

Fire officials have said in the past that a person found guilty of starting a fire can be held accountable for the costs of fighting it. Any decision about trying to recoup costs would come after a full investigation.

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