The Bannock County sheriff said Monday that the Charlotte Fire was human caused and accidental.
Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said a “thorough investigation” showed there was no criminal intent or negligence involved in the fire that ignited June 28, destroying 66 homes in Pocatello.
The investigation was conducted by 17 officials from federal, state and local agencies.
The fire likely started on a corner on Charlotte Road. It spread in a northern direction. There are other locations, or flashpoints, where it could have started, as they are inconsistent with the spread of the fire, but Charlotte Road is the likely place of origin. Possibly the flashpoints started due to a separate fire starting in those places or an ember flying from the main blaze.
Investigators did not pin down an exact cause, though Nielsen said it wasn't fireworks.
“The conditions were very ripe” for a fire, he said.
“I believe … this has thoroughly been investigated. Unless new evidence comes back up, we are going to close the case,” he said.
"We don't have a wild arsonist running around."