CEDAR CITY, Utah, July 25, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A Taylorsville man has been charged with reckless burning after officials say he started the Brian Head Fire, which destroyed 13 residences and cost about $34 million to fight.
Robert Ray Lyman was charged Tuesday in 5th District Court 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.
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.