BEND, OR - The Deschutes County District Attorney announced Tuesday he's filing formal charges against the men believed to be responsible for the Independence Day Fire on Pilot Butte. Brandon Hastings and Alan Stout allegedly detonated an illegal aerial firework, sparking an 11-acre blaze.
D.A. John Hummel says it took time for several agencies to determine the facts of the case, "When you're investigating a fireworks crime that happens on July Fourth in Bend, you need to be sure to get the right suspects, because there's a lot of fireworks in Bend on July Fourth." If found guilty, Hummel says the men could face fines for the damage to the Butte and its restoration, "That'll ultimately be up to a judge to determine what, if anything, they pay for that, but they definitely are potentially on the hook for paying for the damage they caused." State Parks officials say it could take years for the butte to recover
The pair is charged with Reckless Burning, Possession and Use of Prohibited Fireworks, and Criminal Mischief. They're due in court Wednesday afternoon.