A seasonal park concessionaire employee has admitted starting a fire near the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park at around 6 p.m. Friday, July 26.
The fire spread through grass and sage between the entrance and the Gardner River. Firefighters stopped it at 4 acres.
Curtis Faustich admitted to dropping a lit cigarette on the ground while sitting at a picnic table, igniting the fire.
Faustich appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman at the Yellowstone Justice Center in Mammoth Hot Springs Tuesday and pleaded guilty to the charge of discarding a lighted material in a hazardous manner.
He was sentenced to three months incarceration and ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution. He’ll also receive 2 years of unsupervised probation and prohibited from entering Yellowstone National Park for 2 years.
Park Rangers said their investigation was assisted by calls to the park’s 24-hour tip line.