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Ex-Minnesota fire chief charged in forest fires

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Federal prosecutors have indicted a former fire chief in northeastern Minnesota for allegedly setting fires in the Superior National Forest.

Former Babbitt Fire Chief Ryan Scharber also is accused of trying to set a fire at a resort while he was fire chief.

Babbitt City Attorney Mitch Brunfelt says Scharber resigned as fire chief last December about the time city officials were told a federal investigation was underway.

The charges allege Scharber set fires in the Superior National Forest on Oct. 7-9 and Oct. 11, 2011, and on April 29 and Sept. 10, 2012, all in Babbitt.

The Star Tribune reports Scharber also is charged with attempted arson at Mattila's Birch Lake Resort in Babbitt on Dec. 3, 2011.

A home phone number for Scharber could not be found.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.