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Crime & Justice

North Carolina man convicted of setting fire in federal forest

Alexander C. Armstrong
National Park Service

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina man has been convicted of intentionally setting a fire that burned more than 70 acres of federal land, according to a federal prosecutor.

Casey Lee Evans, 42, of Franklin was found guilty on Thursday of starting the fire, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Dena J. King said in a news release.

Evidence, court documents and testimony showed that law enforcement received a call concerning on April 3, 2020 about a fire in the area of Cal's Cove Road.

After an investigation, law enforcement determined that Evans willfully started the fire, which started within the Nantahala National Forest. The fire burned for several days before it was brought under control. In all, the fire burned approximately 70 acres of federal land and 20 more acres of private property.

Evans was convicted of willfully setting a fire on federal land, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date hasn't been set.

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