Ex Minnesota fire chief admits setting multiple forest fires
DULUTH, Minn. (KMSP) -
Former Babbitt, Minn. Fire Chief Ryan Scharber admitted in federal court Friday to setting multiple fires on U.S. forest land in 2011 and 2012.
Scharber, 30, was charged in October with two counts of arson for a series of fires in the Superior National Forest. The fires were reported between Oct. 7 and Oct. 11, 2011 and on April 29 and Sept. 10, 2012.
Scharber was also charged with attempted arson for a fire at Mattila's Birch Lake Resort in Babbitt in December 2011.
After the spike in fires in 2011, Scharber told FOX 21 in Duluth that he was "seeing if there's anybody suspicious hanging out or if someone's showing up at the same fires over and over again."
He resigned his position as fire chief last December at about the same time city officials learned of the federal investigation.
Babbitt is in far northeastern Minnesota, about 100 miles from Duluth.