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Ex-volunteer firefighter gets probation for arson

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) -- A former volunteer firefighter has been sentenced to a year of probation for setting three Reno County grass fires amid severe drought last fall.

The Hutchinson News reports (http://bit.ly/19REOxl ) 19-year-old Cody Knox apologized Friday in Reno County District Court.

Knox was initially charged with setting 14 grass fires from Oct. 16 to Nov. 27, 2012. Prosecutors dropped 11 counts last month in exchange for his guilty pleas to three of the charges.

Knox used a cigarette lighter to set the fires, all of which occurred near Arlington. No structures, fences or livestock were threatened.

At the time of the fires, Knox was studying fire science at Hutchinson Community College. He now works on a farm and could be sent to prison if he violates the terms of his probation.