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Rowan Man Charged for Forest Fire

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A Rowan County man has received a citation for starting a 150-acre forest fire at Sugarloaf Mountain.

60-year-old George Hillyer was charged with setting fire to his own land without taking precautions Saturday evening. The charge is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of not more than twelve months or a fine of not more than $500, or a combination of both.

Hillyer told authorities he burned a brush pile on the property several days prior, but remnants of the pile remained. After leaving his chainsaw by the area for a short time Saturday, a large fire erupted. Firefighters successfully contained the forest fire Sunday morning. The Kentucky Division of Forestry estimates the fire covered about 150 acres, greater than previous estimates of 100 acres.

Rowan county is currently under a complete burn ban.

Hillyer is scheduled to appear in court on December 5.