Roosevelt Arch

The north entrance to Yellowstone National Park is seen in this 2010 photo.

A Yellowstone National Park seasonal concessionaire employee pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges accusing of him of dropping a lit cigarette that ignited a 4-acre fire at the park’s north entrance in July.

Curtis J. Faustich was charged with improper disposal of lighted material and knowingly giving false information on application for permit. He appeared in Wyoming federal court before U.S. Magistrate Mark Carman.

As part of a plea agreement, Faustich was sentenced to three months in jail and is banned from the park for two years after his release. Faustich is also required to serve two years of unsupervised probation and pay a $5,000 fine.

The U.S. attorney also agreed to drop charges that accused him of leaving a fire unattended or extinguished, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the park and failing to report an incident that results in damages to a person or property.

On Tuesday, Faustich admitted starting the fire, according to a park news release.

The fire started around 6 p.m. on July 26. It spread through grass and sage between the north entrance station and the Gardner River, including a half-acre spot where the fire hopped to the other side of the river. The fire was contained to 4 acres.

Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2630. Follow him on Twitter @TGIFreddy.

Reporter

Freddy Monares covers politics and county government for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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