Arson charge dropped in wildfire that burned 91 square miles

SAPULPA, Okla. – An arson charge has been dismissed against a Bristow man suspected of starting a fire in 2012 that burned 91-square-miles in Creek County and destroyed nearly 400 homes.

The charge against 40-year-old Billy Cloud was dismissed Friday after a prosecutor said two witnesses who were subpoenaed to testify at a preliminary hearing failed to appear.

Defense attorney Matthew Gore said that Cloud is innocent.

Prosecutors say Cloud started the fire by tossing a lit cigarette onto the ground in front of his home. He was charged in 2012 with arson, or in the alternative, violating a burn ban, but wasn’t arrested until April when U.S. marshals and Creek County deputies conducting a warrant sweep found him.

Prosecutors said they will look into refiling the charges next week.