California: target shooter sentenced for starting Telegraph fire

In July, Wildfire Today covered the Telegraph fire. The fire was north of Mariposa, California and west of the El Portal entrance to Yosemite National Park. Thursday David Craig Mosher, 29, of Merced, was sentenced to three years of probation and 60 hours of community service for starting the fire which burned 34,000 acres and destroyed 30 homes.

He will also pay a $500 fine and may one day be told to pay restitution for some of the costs of suppressing the fire. But the judge did not make a decision about the restitution, saying that will happen “no time soon”.

Mosher told investigators he was firing steel-jacked bullets in a Bureau of Land Management area when one of the bullets struck a rock, sparked, and started the fire. Steel-jacked bullets are legal, but are banned in some shooting areas because of the fire hazard they present.

Mosher pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts for starting the fire and for having two unregistered assault weapons. As part of his sentence, the two SKS rifles will be destroyed.

Telegraph fire map, July 31, 2008

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