Former Tribal Firefighter Denies Arson Charge

Phillip Cody Haynes pleaded not guilty to felony arson during a court hearing in Polson on Thursday

By Dillon Tabish

POLSON — A former Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal firefighter faces allegations that he set six wildfires over the past two summers.

The Missoulian reports Phillip Cody Haynes pleaded not guilty to felony arson during a court hearing in Polson on Thursday.

Charging documents say Haynes told a Lake County detective that he set a total of seven fires in 2013 and 2014, including the Firestone Flats fire near Arlee in July 2013 that burned over two square miles and forced the evacuation of 21 homes and several campgrounds. As many as 384 firefighters battled that blaze.

County Attorney Steve Eschenbacher said one of the fires Haynes reported setting could not be corroborated.

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