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Updated May 6, 2013 - 5:36 pm

Man charged in connection with Flagstaff wildfires

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A man suspected of starting a string of wildfires in
the northern Arizona forest has been charged criminally.

Mark Mastin had his initial appearance Monday in Flagstaff. The California man
is charged with a single count of burning federal land without a permit, but
prosecutors say the number of charges against him could grow.

Crews have responded to numerous wildfires in and around Flagstaff lately.
Authorities say fire danger is high, but the Coconino National Forest is not
under fire restrictions.

Authorities tracked down the 40-year-old Mastin through boot prints found at
the fires’ origin. According to a criminal complaint, Mastin admitted to
starting six of the fires, repeatedly apologized to authorities and offered to
clean up the area.

His attorney did not respond to requests for comment Monday.


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