RENO COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s been five months since the destructive Cottonwood Complex Fire in eastern Reno County. It destroyed 35 homes, 92 outbuildings, and 110 vehicles. It also left one man dead.
Some residents immediately began questioning whether or not there would be fines or legal charges as a result of the fire. KSN’s legal analyst Dan Monnat said that the person who started the fire could be liable for even unintended deaths.
After talking with the county attorney, the Reno County Sheriff says that no charges will be filed because there was no intent or probable cause.
According to the Hutchinson Fire Department and outside agencies, the fire started after a burning brush pile was left unattended and rekindled.
The fire started around noon on Saturday, March 5. Firefighters were dispatched to the report of a brush fire just east of Hutchinson. It took about a week to fully contain the fire as it spread across 12,000 acres.