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Jun 21, 2011 2:59 PM

Fire was likely started by illegal immigrants, Dever says

HEREFORD - "It wasn't the rabbits or rattlesnakes that started this fire," Sheriff Dever said at the morning press conference, insinuating that the assumed perpetrators are illegal immigrants.

"When this fire started, Montezuma National Monument was closed. The forest around it was closed," Dever said. "So, whoever started the fire was there illegally."

He went on to say that the fire was started very near to a fence at the U.S.-Mexico border, in a known smuggling route for both humans and narcotics.

"Anything is possible, except for lightning," he said. "But it appears to have started right on the fence."

Sheriff Dever said that there is nothing to suggest the fire was caused by anything other than illegal immigrants or some kind of illegal activity from Mexico. He says that there is a "90 to 100 percent" probability that it was started by illegal immigrants.

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