(Pocatello-AP) -- Forty-one-year-old Dale Takeo of Salt Lake City is guilty of starting the July Harkness fire near Pocatello.
That's what a jury said yesterday.
The fire burned four-thousand acres and a home between McCammon and Lava Hot Springs. Idaho Fish and Game officials say it also destroyed crucial winter deer habitat.
Takeo faces up to six months in jail and a 300-dollar fine for misdemeanor starting a timber or prairie land fire. Prosecutors first charged Takeo with felony third-degree arson, but reduced the charge when they could not prove he intentionally started the fire.
Prosecutors claimed Takeo was camping when he lit a piece of paper on fire. They said the wind blew the paper out of his hand and started the fire.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)