NEWPORT, Maine — A Stetson man charged after setting fire to his farm field and then trying to reignite the fire as firefighters were attempting to douse it was found guilty on May 18 in Newport District Court.

James Pimental of Wolfsboro Road was found guilty of burning without a permit and hindering a state forest ranger in connection the March incident. He was ordered to pay $150 fines on each charge, as well as $1,300 in restitution for the cost of the firefighter response.

The fire was reported shortly before noon on March 22 by a passer-by. Fire crews from Stetson and several outlying towns were called upon to extinguish it.

Bailey said the fire burned 3 acres of open field and was beginning to approach Pimental’s barn — which contained hay — and a nearby wooded area. He also said that no one was around to help Pimental had the fire gone out of control.

The hindering statute is not used often, forest service Lt. Jeff Currier said in March, estimating that people are charged with that crime perhaps two or three times a year. He said that the charge is the forest service’s equivalent to an obstruction of government administration charge police officers use.

“Most of the people we deal with are pretty good but there are a few bad apples out there,” Currier said, adding that sometimes rangers find themselves dealing with people who are uncooperative, intoxicated or unstable.

Dwayne Leighton, a Stetson fire warden, said it was unlikely that Pimental would have been issued a burn permit in the first place on the morning the fire due to dry and windy weather conditions.

BDN reporter Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.

9 replies on “Stetson man found guilty of setting fire to field, trying to reignite as fire crews fought flames”

  1. Heck he doesnt think he needs permission to burn. So I’m sure he’s gonna jump right on paying those fines and restitution…

  2. You can’t crap anymore unless you have a permitt. just another another way to fine the people.

    1. It was dry and windy. He had no one to help him should the fire get out of control. What would you have them do, let him burn the place down?

    2. Brilliant. I’ll be burning the field next to your house as soon as I know you’re not going to be home.

  3. Did Nick McCrea really write all of this or did he cut and past from Dawn Gagnon’s original report from March?  The only difference is that the court results were added in the first two paragraphs.  The rest was lifted word for word fron the original.

    Follow the link in “Similar articles:” at the bottom to see exactly how “similar” they are.

     Nick, you get an “F”.  That, and a week’s detention.

  4. We have a Forest Ranger on our fire department.  They are still doing law enforcement without Fire arms for protection.  I wonder how long that will work out for them in todays world?

  5. We have someone in our town who’s done something like this numerous times.   I recall one time when we were all fighting to keep the fire out of the treeline, he hopped on a four-wheeler and set fire to the opposite corner of the field.   The warden issued him a series of tickets, including one for assaault and incredibly he got off since all his paperwork ‘mysteriously’ disappeared from the DAs office before it came to trail.

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