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Man will Pay for Idaho Fire Sparked by Exploding Target

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The federal government is collecting $168,500 to cover fire suppression costs after an Illinois man ignited a 440-acre blaze in central Idaho in 2012 while shooting at an exploding target.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office on Thursday announced the agreement after Jeffrey Kerner was target shooting on Aug. 18, 2012 on private land near Salmon in Lemhi County. As temperatures hit 95 degrees, prosecutors say Kerner’s target blew apart and ignited the blaze that later spread to adjacent federal land and threatened two nearby homes.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Howe in Boise said the settlement was reached after negotiations with an insurance adjustment company representing Kerner. Howe said the incident underscores the danger of exploding targets across the West when conditions are ripe for fires. Kerner didn’t immediately return a call.

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