Feds Charge Woman With Setting Fires In Teton Park, Forest
A Pennsylvania woman could face up to 40 years of imprisonment for starting fires in a national forest and a national park last year.
Stephanie Joy Nicole Dodson was charged with eight identical felony counts of "timber set afire," according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court last week.
Wyoming U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Mark Trimble said Tuesday that Dodson is from Pennsylvania and was working on a dude ranch at the time the fires were set in August in the Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger Teton National Forest, with six of them set in the forest on the same day.
The indictment only outlines the dates, places and names of the fires. It does not give details about the investigation, Dodson's background or possible motives, or how much damage each fire caused.
These are the dates, locations and names of the eight fires -- corresponding to the eight counts -- Dodson allegedly set:
- Aug. 14 -- Bridger Teton National Forest, "Buffalo Fire."
- Aug. 22 -- Grand Teton National Park, "Pacific Creek Road Fire."
- Aug. 29 -- Bridger Teton National Forest, "Flagstaff Fire."
- Aug. 29 -- Bridger Teton Natonal Forest, ""Heart Six Fire."
- Aug. 29 -- Bridger Teton National Forest, "Burro North Fire."
- Aug. 29 -- Bridger Teton National Forest, "Wilderness North Fire."
- Aug. 29 -- Bridger Teton National Forest, "Wilderness South Fire."
- Aug. 29 -- Bridger Teton National Forest, "Burro South Fire."
Conviction on each count carries a prison sentence of up to five years, a $250,000 fine and three years of probation.
The U.S. Attorney's Office has asked the court to detain Dodson because she is considered a flight risk.
As of Tuesday, no date had been set for her initial appearance for her to hear the charges.
Efforts were unsuccessful in locating Dodson for comment.