October 24, 2014
A U.S. Bureau of Land Management firefighter pleaded innocent on Monday to federal arson charges in three wildfires that burned hundreds of acres of national forest in central Nevada this summer.
Mark E. Morgan, 34, was working temporarily as a member of a BLM
fire crew when he allegedly set the fires in August in Lander
County about 170 miles east of Reno.
According to an indictment filed on Wednesday, he set the fires
in underbrush, grass and timber.
He was released on recognizance following a 5-minute appearance
before U.S. Magistrate Robert A. McQuaid Jr., who set trial for
March 28. Morgan was ordered to perform no firefighting duties in
Morgan had worked for BLM on an on-call basis for two years and
is on no-pay status with the agency, BLM spokeswoman Jo Simpson
The three fires Morgan is accused of setting on Aug. 19, 28 and
29 were located near Austin. One of the fires burned 10 acres, one
13 acres and one 547 acres.
Two miles of fence burned in one of the fires, but there was no
known damage to any structures or any injuries reported.