Cousins Charged in AZ Wildfire Set for Plea Charge

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Two cousins charged with accidentally causing the largest wildfire in Arizona history are set for a change of plea hearing Tuesday in Flagstaff.

Caleb Malboeuf and David Malboeuf had pleaded not guilty to five counts, including leaving a fire unattended and failing to maintain control of a fire that damaged a national forest.

It’s unclear what charges, if any, they face after reaching an agreement with prosecutors.

The cousins were camping in eastern Arizona when their campfire spread outside its fire ring last May. High winds whipped the blaze that burned more than 538,000 acres in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico before it was fully contained July 8.

Thousands of people were forced to evacuate, and 32 homes were destroyed.

The firefighting effort cost more than $79 million.

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