GREAT FALLS — Curtis J. Faustich, a seasonal concessionaire employee in Yellowstone National Park, was sentenced for causing a fire in the park last month.
Details of the sentencing were provided in a press release from Yellowstone National Park.
Faustich admitted dropping a lit cigarette on the ground while sitting at a picnic table, which sparked the the fire, on Friday, July 26.
The fire spread through the grass and sage between the North Entrance Station and the Gardner River; it burned about four acres.
He appeared Tuesday, August 6, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman at the Yellowstone Justice Center in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming.
While in court, Faustich pleaded guilty to the charge.
He was sentenced to three months incarceration and two years of probation. He was also ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution, and is prohibited from entering the park for two years.
Emergency crews from Yellowstone National Park, the town of Gardiner, and Paradise Valley responded. The North Entrance Road was closed for approximately 90 minutes until the fire was contained. Outbound traffic was still able to exit the park via the Old Gardiner Road.
Park officials say the quick response by fire crews prevented threats to visitors and buildings.
Park officials also thanked the people who called the park’s 24-hour Tip Line at 307-344-2132 and provided timely details of the incident.