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Tribe still wants charges 10 years after wildfire

Tribe still wants charges 10 years after wildfire

CREATED Jun 18, 2012

Web Producer: Ina Ronquillo

PHOENIX (AP) - A woman accused of starting part of one of Arizona's largest wildfires is still facing legal troubles 10 years later.
   
The Arizona Republic reports the White Mountain Apache Tribe is seeking a judgment in a civil lawsuit against Valinda Jo Elliott for her role in igniting the Rodeo-Chediski fire in June 2002.
   
Authorities say Elliott started a fire to signal for help after being stranded. The fire merged with another one set by a firefighter trying to give himself work.
   
Prosecutors at the time said there was not enough evidence to convict Elliott.
   
The civil case has remained tangled in arguments about whether a tribe has jurisdiction over a non-Indian.
   
Elliott faces $4,500 fines and restitution for other damage.
   
Firefighters and residents say memories of the blaze still linger.
   
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Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)