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Impostor acting as fire investigator at Boulder 2700 area arrested

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By Karen Greene Valley Journal

POLSON – A man was arrested after walking into the inner perimeter of the Boulder 2700 fire incident area and pretending to be a fire investigator. 

On Sunday, Aug. 1, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office was notified that a man, later identified as Donald Breese, a 48-year-old Polson resident, was presenting identification to enter the fire area. According to Lake County Sheriff Don Bell, the man was dressed in “typical wildland fire fatigues.” 

After gaining access to the restricted area, local firefighters recognized Breese “as being someone not associated with the fire effort” and requested an investigation by the sheriff’s office, Bell said. 

Lake County detectives obtained a search warrant and conducted a residential investigation of the man’s home on Aug. 4. Breese was arrested for impersonating a public servant and obstructing a public servant after the residential search warrant was served. 

“The cause of the Boulder 2700 fire remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ fire investigators,” Bell said. 

As of Friday, Aug. 6, only residents and authorized guests of those residents were permitted to enter the Finley Point area from mile marker six on U.S. Highway 35 to Mahood Lane. The highway was closed from Mahood Lane to mile marker 16. Boaters were also asked to stay out of Skidoo and Blue Bay due to fire suppression aircraft efforts. 


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