Alleged I-29 Fire Starter Identified

The driver of a semi responsible for sparking numerous grass fires along I-29 north of Grand Forks has been identified.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol says the driver was 31-year-old Mehmet (ma-met) Demir of Miami Beach, Florida.

Demir was stopped Wednesday after a trooper saw the conveyor on his flatbed trailer on fire.

They believe small pieces of ignited coal were blowing out of the conveyor and starting the grassfires.

The thick smoke from the fires caused a multi-car pileup on I-29, sending 8 people to the hospital.

No word yet on any charges.