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Man Arrested Near The Reported Start Of The Pipeline Fire Has One Of His Three Charges Dropped Tuesday

The man who was arrested for burning toilet paper near the reported start of the Pipeline Fire, had one of his counts dropped against him in federal court Tuesday morning. Prosecutors agreed to drop the misdemeanor marijuana charge against 57-year-old Matthew Riser, however the counts of building a fire during restrictions and residing on the national forest, also misdemeanors, remain active. Court documents say Riser ignited toilet paper and placed it under a rock, several feet from a forest road back on Saturday, June 11th. On that Sunday at around 10:30 a.m., the fire was reportedly burning brush and trees. A man in a white Chevy pickup truck, with a camper shell and Louisiana license plates, was seen driving quickly away from the fire. Court documents say a deputy pulled over Riser on Highway 180. He told the officer he was camping in the area and burned his used toilet paper Saturday, never thinking it would smolder all night. Riser told officers he tried putting out the fire with his sleeping bag, but with no luck. Riser admitted to burning the paper and placing it under a rock, but hasn’t admitted, or has been charged, with starting the Pipeline Fire. His next hearing will be July 6th at 10:30 a.m. in federal court in Flagstaff. He remains in custody.

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