A federal firefighter accused of persuading a friend to set a brush fire on the city's outskirts has been charged with conspiracy to commit arson.

Levy Miller, 21, was being held in the Lemhi County Jail on $30,000 bond, officials said Friday.

Miller has worked for the local Bureau of Land Management office as a firefighter for about two years. He was charged in a blaze that charred a half-acre of brush in Salmon's Smedley subdivision on Aug. 13.

Police say Miller may have been trying to create work for federal fire crews.

"We're thinking that's what the issue was," Lemhi County Sheriff Sam Slavin told the Post Register in Idaho Falls for Saturday editions.

Before Miller worked for the Interior Department agency, he volunteered with the North Fork Fire Department. Slavin said authorities are investigating a series of fires that broke out about 20 miles north of Salmon in Salmon-Challis National Forest in 2003 to see if there are any similarities.