Firestarter Accused Of Drunk Driving - Tucson News Now

12/10/02

Firestarter Accused Of Drunk Driving

(AP) Valinda Jo Elliot, the woman who started the huge Chediski fire, has been arrested.

Authorities say Elliot was arrested early Sunday in Tolleson on possible charges of driving under the influence and other charges.

Neither Elliot or her attorney could be reached for comment.

Elliot says she was lost for two nights on the Fort Apache Reservation when she set a signal fire June 20, 2002. That fire grew to become the Chedeski fire. It merged with the Rodeo fire, creating the largest wildfire in Arizona history. The Rodeo and Chediski fire destroyed 467 homes and burned 469,000 acres.

Elliot was never charged with starting the fire.

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