Arizona’s largest fire, at 538,000 acres, was allegedly started by two experienced campers.
The two had been camping near the Bear Wallow Trailhead that day, and David Malboeuf’s car was spotted about 2 miles from where the fire began, according to the complaint. The trailhead is near the confluence of the north and south forks of Bear Wallow Creek. The Malboeufs both told investigators that they built a campfire on the evening of May 28 and again on the morning of May 29 to cook breakfast before leaving on a hike down the canyon.
“They stated that they believed their campfire was out because David threw a candy wrapper in the fire just prior to their departure and it did not melt,” according to court documents.
But when they were returning to their camp site several hours later, the Malbouefs told investigators they could smell and see smoke from the area.
As someone who camps with camp fires, I will be following this closely.