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Federal charges expected for Rim Fire suspect

Federal officials plan to prosecute a hunter whose illegal fire started a huge wildfire in and near Yosemite National Park.

SONORA, Calif. (AP) — Federal officials are expected to file charges against the person they believe started the wildfire that raged through Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Foothills earlier this year.

Tuolumne County District Attorney Michael Knowles announced on his office’s Web site Thursday that federal prosecutors had privately declared their intention to prosecute the hunter who U.S. Forest Service said in September had set an illegal campfire in the Stanislaus National Forest that got out of control, becoming one of the largest fires on record in California.

The hunter’s name has still not been released.

The fire, which began burning Aug. 17 and was not contained until Oct. 24, burned 400 square miles, including dozens of buildings.

State officials have estimated damages exceed $54 million.



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