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11-year-old facing felony charges after allegedly starting brush fire in northern Arizona

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Posted at 9:27 AM, May 28, 2021

LAKE MONTEZUMA, Ariz. — An 11-year-old boy is now facing multiple felony charges, including arson and reckless burning, after allegedly starting a brush fire last Saturday northeast of Camp Verde, Arizona.

On May 22, crews responded to a fire at what used to be the Beaver Creek Golf Course, which is located near Lake Montezuma in the Rimrock area, according to statements and body camera footage. Rimrock is about 90 minutes north-northeast of downtown Phoenix.

Two vacant buildings were lost in the fire, which also came within 20 feet of homes, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said.

In total, the fire caused more than $30,000 in damages, according to officials.

Witnesses told authorities that three boys were seen playing with a lighter and aerosol can prior to the start of the fire. Two of the three boys attempted to stop the fire before it got out of control, YCSO said.

“We truly hope this 11-year-old learned his lesson. Wildland crews and firefighters put their lives on the line to protect the residents in our community. YCSO is going to hold those responsible accountable,” Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes said in a statement

The 11-year-old is facing charges of arson of a structure, criminal damage, endangerment, and reckless burning.

This story was originally published by Courtland Jeffrey on Scripps station KNXV in Phoenix.