WINNEMUCCA, Nev. (KOLO) - The Martin Fire stretching from Humboldt County to Elko County is still under investigation, but a local family is offering $10 thousand to whomever helps them find those who started it. The money is coming directly from the family.
They lost 180,000 acres and animals. According to the family, much of the anger comes from the fact the person or persons who started the fire didn't call when it could have been stopped. Investigators have determined the fire was human-caused.
"If they had just came forward when it first happened, local volunteers and local people would’ve been able to put the fire out that night," says Fred Stewart, ranch owner.
Every time there is a fire, there is also an investigation for what caused it, and when caused by humans, the results can be criminal or civil.
In a civil case, there can be a fine; a criminal case could result in jail or prison time.
"If you cause a fire, take responsibility for it, and it's much better to pay a fine than ending up in jail," says Carson CIty's BLM Chief Fire Investigator, Ryan Elliott.
“People need to be responsible for what they do; they can’t just go out and do things and have no responsibility for their actions. If we do find that person, I want them to understand they have been responsible for millions and millions of dollars of damage, just not public lands but private property," says Stewart.
The Bureau of Land Management is also offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the fire. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement Division are requesting help from the public, saying the fire was human-caused. Anyone who may have been camping or in the vicinity of Martin Creek or Martin Creek Canyon the night of July 4, or anyone who might have information on the person or people who may have been responsible for the start of the Martin Fire is asked to contact:
Humboldt County Secret Witness: 775-623-6969.
Or online at the HCSO Report Suspicious Activity web page.
Or the BLM Law Enforcement Tips Line: 775-885-6117.