State awarded $74K in Big Spencer Mtn. fire case

3:53 PM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
Wildfire on Big Spencer Mountain in August, 2012. Courtesy: Maine Forest Service
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The man who likely sparked a fire on Big Spencer Mountain this summer will pay the state nearly $74,000.

Richard Wes Coers, from Utah, pleaded no contest Monday to a summons of failure to extinguish a fire on the mountain in August. Maine Forest Rangers say that fire spread and eventually burned two acres of mountaintop.

A plea of no contest has the same effect as a guilty plea, but it does not carry the admission of guilt.

Big Spencer Mountain is 20 miles north of the town of Greenville. Due to its remote location, the Maine Forest Service had a difficult time fighting the flames. They were hesitant to send crews up in person because of the dangerous geography. They did eventually decide to send ground crews up and those efforts were aided with a heavy barrage of water dropped from above by helicopters.

A district court judge in Dover-Foxcroft ordered Coers pay a restitution of $73,972.96 over five years. Coers will also pay a $490 fine.


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