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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

3 Great Falls men charged with arson in connection with Gibson Flats fires

 Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter speaks during a press conference December 08, 2021.
Cascade County Sheriff's Department
Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter speaks during a press conference December 08, 2021.

Three Great Falls-area men have been arrested and charged in connection with wildfires last week that destroyed 29 structures, including 11 homes in the Gibson Flats area.

Cascade County has filed charges against 18-year-old Brandon Bennett, Jevin Mclean and Galvinn Munson, both 19.

Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter says tips from the community led to the questioning of the three suspects. Slaughter says one of the suspects disclosed “that all three of them were driving around the area the night this occurred, smoking marijuana, and shooting fireworks at each other inside the vehicle.”

Mugshots of three men arrested for Gibson Flats arson
Cascade County Sheriff's Department
Galvinn Munson, Jevin Mclean and Brandon Bennett were charged with arson in connection with two fires that destroyed homes near Great Falls, MT.

Slaughter says detectives concluded Galvinn Munson intentionally set both fires — the first with a roman candle pointed at dry grass and the second with a lighter. Munson faces 13 counts of criminal endangerment and two counts of arson. Arson carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Bennett and Mclean were arrested on charges including arson by accountability.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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