LAKE LURE, N.C. — A 17-year-old has been charged in the Party Rock wildfire last year in western North Carolina.

A release from the town of Lake Lure said the boy appeared in court last week on two misdemeanor counts accusing him of negligently causing fire on public lands.

The fire burned more than 7,000 acres and caused more than $7 million in firefighting costs.

District Attorney Ted Bell said misdemeanors were the maximum charges available because of the circumstances. He noted no buildings were damaged and no one was injured.

A court-apppointed defense lawyer didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment Sunday. The AP isn’t naming the suspect because he’s underage.

The Party Rock fire was among a series of blazes in the Carolinas, Georgia and surrounding states last year.

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