Share this story...
Latest News

Tribe still wants charges 10 years after Chediski fire

PHOENIX — A woman accused of starting part of one of Arizona’s largest
wildfires is still facing legal troubles 10 years later.

The Arizona Republic reported the White Mountain Apache
Tribe is seeking a judgment in a civil lawsuit against Valinda Jo Elliott for
her role in igniting the Rodeo-Chediski fire in June 2002.

Authorities said Elliott started a fire to signal for help after being stranded.
The fire merged with another set by a firefighter trying to give himself
work.

Prosecutors at the time said there was not enough evidence to convict Elliott.

The civil case has remained tangled in arguments about whether a tribe has
jurisdiction over a non-Indian.

Elliott faces $4,500 fines and restitution for other damage.

Firefighters and residents said memories of the blaze linger.

___

Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com