Man arrested for ignoring fire restrictions, starting wildfire

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- A man has been arrested for ignoring fire restrictions and starting a blaze in northern Arizona last month.

Stacy Postel, 49, was taken into custody after a wildfire broke out in the Kaibab National Forest at Moonset Pit near the town of Parks on May 22.

The fire was started by an abandoned campfire that was not properly extinguished. The fire burned approximately four acres of National Forest land.

Several people contacted a Forest Service officer and said they saw a man with a large bedroll and a backpack walking away from the area of the fire.

An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer eventually located and stopped Postel along Highway 64. Postel reportedly gave authorities a false name at the time of his arrest.

Postel has been charged with four misdemeanor counts, including leaving a fire without completely extinguishing it and providing false information to a Forest Service officer.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.

Postel remains in custody pending a trial. He’s scheduled to appear in a Flagstaff court on June 20 for a status conference.