Former Babbitt Volunteer Fire Chief Sentenced for Starting Fires

Updated: 04/10/2014 3:15 PM
Created: 04/10/2014 2:59 PM
By: Leslie Dyste

A former Babbitt volunteer fire chief was sentenced Thursday for setting fires in Superior National Forest.

Ryan Scharber, 30, was sentenced to one year in federal prison on one count of setting fire to U.S. forest land and five years on one count of attempted arson, according to the United States Attorney's Office.

Scharber was also ordered to pay $27,140 in restitution for costs associated with fire suppression efforts.

Scharber pleaded guilty on Nov. 22, 2013.

In his plea agreement Scharber admitted to setting multiple fires in the Superior National Forest and attempted arson of a building on Mattila's Birch Lake Resort in Babbitt, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Authorities say the fires were ignited in the Babbitt area around Aug. 27, 2011 through Sept. 12, 2012.

According to a federal attorney, a psychiatrist at the Range Mental Health Center has diagnosed Scharber with pyromania.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: KSTP file

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