By: Associated Press
August 30, 2017
BRYCEVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida man has been charged nearly $60,000 to cover the cost of putting out a 705-acre wildfire that officials say he caused.
The Florida Times-Union reports that the Florida Forest Service sent 55-year-old Brian Sparks a bill Monday for $59,403.38 to pay for the personnel and machinery needed to extinguish the blaze.
Officials say Sparks had been burning old paperback books and clutter outside his Bryceville home in March when the flames got out of control.
The fire forced evacuations and damaged eight homes. Fire crews from Nassau and neighboring counties joined with forestry workers to contain and extinguish the blaze over several days.
Sparks also received a misdemeanor citation for failure to obtain a department permit and reckless land burning.