Arizona man fined for starting wildfire while target shooting

Jan 5, 2024, 4:00 PM

Arizona man fined for starting wildfire while target shooting...

A 64-year-old Tucson man allegedly started a wildfire by shooting incendiary bullets. (Artem Zhukov Photo/via Pexels)

(Artem Zhukov Photo/via Pexels)

PHOENIX — A Tucson man is facing a hefty fine for his role in starting a forest fire, authorities announced Friday.

Michael Sobcynski, 64, has to pay $180,000 to the U.S. Forest Service, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

Authorities said Sobcynski caused the “Molino II Fire” in April of last year.

Before the fire started, he was shooting incendiary rounds out of his shotgun, the office said.

Those rounds ignited multiple small fires, which expanded into a wildfire that required fire suppression services worth $200,000, authorities said.

Sobcynski pleaded guilty to using incendiary ammunition, officials said.

Investigators with the U.S. Forest Service investigated the case while the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tucson led the prosecution.

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Arizona man fined for starting wildfire while target shooting