Three students charged with misdemeanor for fire


The Snake River fire burned more than 11,000 acres in both Whitman and Garfield Counties between Aug. 2 and Aug. 8.

From staff reports

The Garfield County Prosecutor’s office charged three WSU students, who admitted to causing the Snake River fire that burned more than 11,000 acres in August, with misdemeanors on Monday.

Students Blake Rogers, Isaiah Weber and Jonathan Whitley approached the investigators on Aug. 3, the day after the fire began, and admitted to camping in the area and building a small campfire in the location where the fire was believed to have started, according to an August news release from the Whitman County Sheriff’s office.

Rogers, Weber and Whitley voluntarily gave their statements and agreed to cooperate with the investigation at the time, according to the news release.

The morning of Aug. 3, Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers sent out a news release asking for the public’s assistance in identifying those responsible for the fire, which wasn’t completely contained until the morning of Aug. 8, according to a tweet from the Washington Department of Natural Resources Fire (WDNRF). The fire covered 11,452 acres at its peak and burned one outbuilding, but did not injure anyone, according to the WDNRF.

The first court appearance for Rogers, Weber and Whitley is scheduled for 9 a.m. on April 13 at the Garfield County District Court in Pomeroy, according to the court website.

Reporting by Sarah Olsen