February 9, 2012
Israeli tourist released from Chile jail
An Israeli tourist charged by Chile with accidentally starting a massive forest fire in a popular national park was fined and released.
Rotem Singer, 23, was ordered by a court in Puerto Natales to pay a $10,000 fine to the government of Chile and perform two years of community service for the Jewish National Fund. JNF and its Israeli branch Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael will help raise money to plant 50,000 new trees in the Torres del Paine national park.
Singer, of the central Israeli city of Nes Tziona, was arrested Dec. 31 and released on bail. He was ordered to remain in the region while the case was investigated. He is accused of setting fire to toilet paper in order to dispose of the trash and of not putting out the fire well enough.
Some 48 wildfires burned more than 32,000 acres of forest in the national park in late December and early January, and destroyed at least 100 homes.
Under the agreement, Singer was not implicated in the fire. Ynet reported that Singer will continue on his post-army backpack trip.