Snowmobile tracks not linked to yurt fire
"Weve really narrowed the time span down now."
Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling, commenting on the Boulder yurts arson
By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer
Two snowmobile tracks near the Boulder yurts have been ruled unconnected
to a suspected arson act that occurred there April 2.
Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling said in an interview Monday that
sheriffs deputies had interviewed two snowmobilers who had signed in at the Boulder
City trailhead the afternoon of the blaze.
Femling said the two took responsibility for the tracks, but, based on
their explanations and demeanor during the interview, are not viewed as suspects.
Also, he said, investigators found no footprints leading from the
snowmobile tracks to the yurts.
The two Boulder yurts, worth about $20,000, were burned to the ground.
Femling said the snowmobilers told deputies they were in the area about 4 p.m. The fire
was reported about 4:30 p.m.
"Weve really narrowed the time span down now," Femling
However, police appear to have made little progress in investigating the
Femling said six officers further searched the area following a
significant amount of snowmelt on Thursday. He did not elaborate on what they found.
"I think theyre doing as good a job as anybody can do,"
said Ketchum Ranger District law enforcement officer Joe Griffin about the investigation.
"But we dont have a lot to go on given whats left after the fire."
A $4,500 reward for information helpful to the investigation has been put
up by the U.S. Forest Service, the Idaho State Snowmobile Association and the local Nordic
and Backcountry Skiers Alliance.
Femling said "a number of people" have called to offer
additional money to the reward pool.
Griffin said investigators must often depend on informant information to
solve backcountry crimes, which are rarely witnessed.
"When the [reward] stakes are high enough, quite often somebody comes
forward that has knowledge," he said.