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2/7/2013 1:07:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Feds reveal cause of 7,400-acre Goat Fire

Tom Knappenberger
U.S. Forest Service

PATEROS - Last fall's Goat Fire was caused by people shooting at exploding targets, according to fire investigators for the U.S. Forest Service on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

No one has been charged yet. A follow-up investigation is ongoing.

Located three miles southwest of Pateros, the Goat Fire started on the evening of Sept. 15 and grew to more than 7,378 acres.

The fire burned mostly on National Forest land, but also burned onto adjacent Bureau of Land Management and private lands under State Department of Natural Resources protection.

The fire was declared controlled on Nov. 9.

Goat Mountain contains numerous structures under special-use permit, including cellular towers, local television broadcasting equipment, emergency services towers and high voltage buried power lines.

The fire caused road closures and evacuations that affected many area residents.

The penalty for starting a wildfire could be criminal charges as well as payment of suppression costs and other damages.

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