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Arson suspected in picnic grounds fire


Photo courtesy of the Petersburg Ranger District

The Petersburg Ranger District is looking for any with information regarding vandalism at Man Made Hole Recreation Area. The vault toilet was set on fire.

The Petersburg Ranger District is looking for anyone with information regarding a possible arson at Man Made Hole Recreation Area.

On June 16, the district's "recreation technician visited the site and found it had been vandalized," said Brad Hunter, recreation and wilderness manager.

He added that it had occurred sometime between June 12, the technician's last visit, and June 16.

"Somebody torched it," Hunter said.

The perpetrator threw fuel down into the vault toilet and left a trail of flammable liquid out the door to the parking lot to ignite it, Fire Marshall Ryan Welde said.

The trail was scorched and the plastic toilet was completely gone.

"It'll take a bit of work to clean it up and get it serviceable to be open to the public," Hunter said.

There's no damage estimate or replacement timeline yet, though it may be awhile.

They'll have to purchase a new toilet, then get it delivered and installed, Hunter said.

He added that there didn't appear to be any significant structural damage, but that repairing what was done will take away from the time they have to manage other projects.

The district's law enforcement officer is investigating.

Anyone with information should call the Petersburg Ranger District at 772-3841.


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