SALT LAKE CITY — A former Utah state trooper and fire chief has pleaded guilty to deliberately starting a wildfire that caused more than $800,000 in damage.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that 37-year-old Rex Richard Olsen entered a plea this week to second-degree felony arson.

A misdemeanor charge of violating wildfire prevention restrictions was dropped as part of the agreement.

Authorities say Olsen admitted to starting a fire June 9 near the town of Maeser.

A subdivision was evacuated but there were no injuries.

He also was federally indicted last month with starting a May 30 wildfire in the same area.

Olsen worked for the Highway Patrol from 2004 to 2012 and again starting in 2016 until he was fired in July.

He previously was fire chief in Neola in Duchesne County.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune,

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