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Plea deal spares Utah target shooters jail sentence for wildfire that cost $2M to fight

Two target shooters have taken a plea deal for igniting a major wildfire southeast of Salt Lake City last summer using explosive targets.

The deal keeps the men out of jail, drops one of two misdemeanor charges and requires the target shooters to pay $10,000 for a fire that cost taxpayers $2 million to fight.

The Dump Fire in June forced 600 families to flee Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain and left some houses with smoke damage. Three months later, a 100-year rain storm poured down a barren mountainside into Saratoga Springs, carrying a mudslide that damaged several homes.

Court records show 42-year-old Jeffery Conant of Utah and 38-year-old Kenneth Nielson of Washington state pleaded no contest Monday to using an exploding target. Prosecutors dropped a charge of reckless burning.

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