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Minor charged with setting Party Rock Fire

The Party Rock Fire as seen from Chimney Rock. (Photo credit: Ryan Lubbers)

A minor is facing misdemeanor charges in connection to the Party Rock Fire.

The 17-year-old male youth is facing charges for "negligently setting or causing to be set on fire of any woods, lands or fields in any county under the protection of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources."

This is according to an article on the Town of Lake Lure's website.

The suspect made his first court appearance earlier this week in Rutherford County Superior Court. District Attorney Ted Bell had served the suspect a criminal summons back in July.

The Party Rock Fire burned 7000 acres in the areas of Lake Lure, Chimney Rock Village, and Bat Cave, and caused mandatory evacuation of area residents, in November of 2016.

That area consists of 2489 acres on North Carolina State Park property and 4653 acres on private property.

Firefighting costs are estimated at $7 million.

The suspect's next court appearance is scheduled for August 30.

The Party Rock Fire is still under investigation.

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