Israeli Reaches Chile Plea Deal To Plant Trees

Published February 10, 2012 12:45AM (EST)

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile has settled its criminal case against an Israeli hiker accused of negligently causing a fire that destroyed much of the Torres del Paine national park.

Under Chile's obsolete Forests Law, pyromaniacs or negligent tourists can be fined no more than $300 for setting fires in national parks.

So instead of seeking a conviction, prosecutors worked out a deal with Israeli hiker Rotem Singer designed to restore much of the area destroyed after he allegedly set fire to toilet paper and it burned out of control.

The 23-year-old Singer has agreed to pay $10,000 and raise other money for an environmental group that will buy 50,000 native trees that will be used to replant the park by Chile's national forestry agency.

By Salon Staff

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