Man Billed Nearly $60,000 For Starting Florida Forest Fire

A Florida man is now responsible for paying nearly $60,000 after officials say he caused a 705-acre wildfire. 

Florida Forest Service allegedly sent 55-year-old Brian Sparks a bill Monday for $59,403.38 to pay for the machinery and manpower needed to extinguish the blaze. He also received a misdemeanor citation for failure to obtain a department permit and reckless land burning.

Sparks had been burning paperback books and clutter outside his Bryceville home in March, officials say, when the flames got out of control. 

The fire forced evacuations and damaged eight homes.

Several fire crews joined with forestry workers to contain and extinguish the blaze over several days.

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