- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 8, 2017

VERNAL, Utah (AP) - A Utah man accused of starting a wildfire to “feel the excitement of it” is now charged with arson.

Prosecutors say in charges filed Monday that 37-year-old Rex Richard Olsen of Roosevelt used a cigarette and match combination as a delayed ignition device to start the June 9 blaze in eastern Utah.

The fire torched about 4 square miles (10 square kilometers) and briefly forced a neighborhood near Vernal to evacuate. Prosecutors say damage is estimated at more than $800,000.

Prosecutors say that fire investigators traced the cigarette to Olsen using video showing him buying that type of cigarette at a gas station.

Olsen was charged with felony arson and a misdemeanor violation of wildfire-prevention law.

No attorney or publicly listed phone number was immediately available for Olsen.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More

Click to Hide