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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A federal jury in Asheville has found Casey Evans, 42, guilty of starting a fire that burned more than 70 acres of federal land.

On April 3rd, 2020, officers in Franklin received a call concerning a fire that was actively burning in the area of Cals Cove Road.

According to trial evidence, police determined that Evans willfully started the fire, which originated in the Nantahala National Forest.

Police say the fire burned for several days before it was extinguished, and in total, the fire burned over 70 acres of federal land and 20 more acres of private property.

Evans was convicted of willfully starting the fire on federal land, which carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison and $250,000 fine, according to a news release.

Police say Evans remains in custody and a sentencing date has not yet been set.

 



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