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Man accused of starting July 7 wildfire in Dudleyville area

Posted at 10:54 AM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 13:54:46-04

Pinal County authorities say a man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in the Dudleyville area earlier this month that burned nearly half a square mile and destroyed one home and 13 other structures.

County Sheriff's officials say James Brumley was taken into custody Monday on suspicion of reckless burning and five counts of criminal damage.

It was unclear Tuesday if he has a lawyer yet.

Sheriff's officials say Brumley has denied starting the fire on July 7.

The blaze spread quickly and authorities evacuated the entire town of Dudleyville about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Phoenix.

Authorities say the wildfire caused nearly $1 million in damage and financial losses.

They say arson investigators traced the fire back to Brumley's property, where a smoldering burn pile was discovered.