3 WSU students charged in connection with starting wildfire

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PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Three Washington State University students have been charged with gross misdemeanors in connection with the start of a wildfire that burned about 11,000 acres last summer.

Blake Rogers, 22, Isaiah Weber, 23, and Jonathan Whitley, 22, all of Pullman, were each charged Monday with second-degree reckless burning for allegedly starting an illegal campfire that grew into the Snake River Fire.

Garfield County Prosecutor Matt Newberg says the charge is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine plus restitution, fees and assessments.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that more than 300 firefighters fought the flames, along with six air tankers and five helicopters. Four firefighters were taken to local hospitals for heat-related injuries.