SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- The most serious charge has been dropped against a private contractor blamed for a 4,200-acre Santa Cruz Mountains wildfire in 2008.
Santa Clara County prosecutors said on Monday they weren't confident they could prove a felony reckless-burning charge against contractor Channing Verden.
Verden still faces a misdemeanor count for failing to prevent the escape of a fire.
The San Jose Mercury News (http://bit.ly/XbOb6F ) says Verden left two debris piles smoldering and winds later kicked up sparks that started the weeklong wildfire.
Sixty-three homes and 69 outbuildings were destroyed.
Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com
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