On Friday, July 26, a fire spread through the grass and sagebrush near the north entrance station of Yellowstone National Park.
The fire was contained at approximately four acres. Yellowstone National Park Spokeswoman Linda Veress said they had reason to believe this was not a naturally-caused fire.
"There weren't any lighting storms at the area at the time, and usually that's an indicator that it is human caused," she said.
Veress said through a 24-hour tip line, park rangers were able to confirm a seasonal employee named Curtis J. Faustich was responsible from a lit cigarette he threw onto the ground. Faustich appeared before a judge Tuesday, August 6 and pleaded guilty.
The sentencing includes three months of incarceration, $5,000 in restitution, two years of unsupervised probation, and he is prohibited from entering Yellowstone National Park for two years.
Veress said it's impossible to say whether this is a harsh sentence for this time of crime because it depends on the facts that were presented to the judge.