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Suspect In Robertson Draw Fire Pleads Not Guilty

A Montana man pleaded not guilty today to sparking the 30,000-acre Robertson Draw Fire south of Red Lodge last month.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Robertson Draw fire burning south of Red Lodge is 69 percent contained.

The state is charging John Lightburn of Bridger with two counts of felony negligent arson. He’s also accused of misdemeanor criminal mischief. He appeared in Carbon County District Court on Wednesday before Judge Matthew Wald, who continued his bail of $7,500. Lightburn pleaded not guilty to all accusations.

Prosecutors say the 55-year-old sparked the flame when fixing his motorbike in an area of the Custer Gallatin National Forest that is off-limits to motor vehicle traffic. Lightburn had been riding the bike there before the incident, court documents say.

Lightburn is being held at the Gallatin County jail.