Arsonist gets more than 4 years in prison for setting forest fires

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Stephanie Joy Nicole Dodson, 45, of Everett, Pennsylvania, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson on January 2, 2018, on two felony counts of timber set afire.

Stephanie Dodson (Bedford County, PA booking)

Dodson was arrested in Pennsylvania after an investigation of several fires pointed to her as the prime suspect. She received 53 months of imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised probation upon release from custody, and was ordered to pay a $200 special assessment and $105,712.68 in restitution to the United States Forest Service.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Forest Service, with assistance from Teton County Wyoming’s Sheriff’s Office and Grand Teton National Park.

Dodson was charged with 8 felony counts related to various fires that investigators believe she started between August 14, 2016, and August 29, 2016, in the Buffalo Valley Region, six of which she started on August 29. She was working at the Heart Six Ranch at the time of the fires.

Aug. 14 — Bridger Teton National Forest, “Buffalo Fire.”
Aug. 22 — Grand Teton National Park, “Pacific Creek Road Fire.”
Aug. 29 — Bridger Teton National Forest, “Flagstaff Fire.”
Aug. 29 — Bridger Teton Natonal Forest, “”Heart Six Fire.”
Aug. 29 — Bridger Teton National Forest, “Burro North Fire.”
Aug. 29 — Bridger Teton National Forest, “Wilderness North Fire.”
Aug. 29 — Bridger Teton National Forest, “Wilderness South Fire.”
Aug. 29 — Bridger Teton National Forest, “Burro South Fire.”

Dodson pled guilty to starting two fires, one in Grand Teton National Park on August 22 known as the “Pacific Creek Road Fire,” and one on August 29 in Bridger Teton National Forest near Forest Road 30162, known as the “Flagstaff Fire.” The pleas were accepted in exchange for dismissal of the other six felony counts.

The Flagstaff Fire was by far the most serious due to the property threatened, and resources used to extinguish the fire, and drives the restitution amount which is over $100,000.

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