The man accused of accidentally starting the Brian Head fire is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon. Robert Lyman, of Taylorsville, now faces charges for reckless burning and burning without a permit. Officials say Lyman had been attempting to burn weeds on the property near his Brian Head cabin using a weed torch, when the flames got out of control and turned into a massive wildfire that raged over 71,000 acres. When it was finally over the fire had destroyed 13 homes, forced roughly 1,500 people to be temporarily displaced by having to evacuate, and cost $40 million to fight, setting a new record as the most expensive wildfire in the state so far.
If convicted on the reckless burning charge, Lyman could be looking at up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The second count, burning without a permit, carries up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Officials have also said the person who started the fire may be responsible for the costs of fighting it, although any actions or efforts to claim that money are being postponed for the time being.
Public domain photo