Man accused of starting Mussett Bayou fire pleads no contest

Crime

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The man accused of starting the Mussett Bayou wildfire in May of 2020 pleaded no contest to two charges on Friday.

Allen Boyd Smith was originally charged with two counts of failing to obtain a burning permit and one count of reckless land burning— all misdemeanors.

Prosecuting attorney Josh Mitchell said the reckless land burning charge was dropped after testimony during earlier hearings.

Smith pleaded no contest to not complying with open burning laws and burning illegal materials.

He has been placed on one-year probation and will serve 100 hours of community service.

Mitchell said Smith has also been ordered to pay restitution. That hearing is scheduled for December 15.

Investigators found that 59 properties, 33 homes and over 340 acres of land were damaged or destroyed in the wildfire.

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