Man accused of starting 75,000 a. fire kills himself

Stephen Posniak, accused of starting the Gunflint Trail Fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area that burned 75,000 acres in Minnesota and Canada in 2007, committed suicide.

From the Star Tribune:

An attorney for a Washington, D.C., man accused of starting a wildfire that charred 118 square miles in Minnesota and Canada last year said Tuesday that his client had committed suicide.

Mark Larsen said Tuesday that a relative of Stephen Posniak’s told him Posniak, 64, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Posniak was charged with allowing his campfire to burn out of control in May 2007. The fire spread in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Superior National Forest in Minnesota and into Ontario, destroying nearly 150 buildings worth more than $10 million.

Larsen says they felt Posniak, who pleaded not guilty last month, was overcharged in the case. The Minneapolis attorney said that he spoke to Posniak on Monday and that he was “acute in his thinking and quite pleasant over the phone.”

More information is at the Washington Post.

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