Man Sentenced Three Months in Jail for Starting a Fire at Yellowstone

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Fire near North Entrance. National Park Service photo

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK– A suspect has been charged for discarding a lighted material in a hazardous manner, and starting a fire near the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park on Friday, July 26.

The fire began spreading through the grass and sage between the North Entrance Station and the Gardner River of Yellowstone National Park, and personnel from Yellowstone National Park, the town of Gardiner, and Paradise Valley responded to the fire, containing it at approximately 4 acres.

At that time, the fire was determined to be human caused and was under investigation.

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That investigation has now been concluded, as Curtis J. Faustich, a seasonal concessionaire employee in Yellowstone, admitted to dropping a lit cigarette on the ground while sitting at a picnic table and igniting the fire.

Faustich appeared Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 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. 

Sentencing included:

  • Three months of incarceration
  • $5,000 in restitution 
  • Two years of unsupervised probation
  • Prohibited from entering Yellowstone National Park for two years

Park law enforcement officers sincerely thank the individuals who called the park’s 24-hour Tip Line at 307-344-2132 and provided timely incident details.