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Hope Mills man charged with starting wildfire

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FAYETTEVILLE, NC (AP) -- The North Carolina Forest Service has cited a man it says caused a 1,100-acre wildfire still burning in eastern Cumberland County.

The Forest Service says Marshall Hartsfield of Hope Mills was cited Thursday for failing to fully extinguish the fire after setting it to clear some land. Hartsfield owns Woodland Management Inc. and is licensed by the state to carry out controlled burns.

The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum fine of $50. The Forest Service says its investigation determined that windy and dry conditions allowed embers to escape ignite brush outside the burn area.

Hartsfield says there was no red flag warning when he started the fire Monday in the Cedar Creek community.

Fire officials say they have spent $20,000 fighting the blaze. It is now contained.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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