2014-08-07 / Front Page

2013 Rim Fire charges are filed

A firefighter lights a backfire in August of 2013 during the Rim Fire. The fire is considered one of the largest ever to burn in the Sierra. (Al Golub / Golub Photography | Contributed)A firefighter lights a backfire in August of 2013 during the Rim Fire. The fire is considered one of the largest ever to burn in the Sierra. (Al Golub / Golub Photography | Contributed)Friday, Aug. 7, 2014 - 1 p.m. - After more than seven months of investigation, federal prosecutors have charged a 32-year-old Tuolumne County man with igniting last year's huge Rim Fire, which charred more than 257,000 acres in Mariposa and Tuolumne counties and Yosemite National Park.

According to a statement released by U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner of Fresno, Keith Matthew Emerald of Columbia was bowhunting on Aug. 17, 2013 when he kindled a fire and allowed it to escape. Additionally, Emerald is charged with lying to authorities about his connection to the fire.

While no arraignment date has been announced, Emerald "is expected to appear soon in federal court in Fresno," the statement said.

If convicted, he could face five years in prison and multiple fines of $250,000 each. 

Return to top

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
Click here for digital edition
2014-08-07 digital edition