SAN FRANCISCO — A 29-year-old man has pleaded guilty to starting an August wildfire that destroyed homes and burned more than 45 square miles in California’s Sequoia National Forest.
The Los Angeles Times reports (http://lat.ms/2dvKhcs) that a federal judge sentenced Angel Gilberto Garcia-Avalos to 13 months in prison and ordered him to pay $61 million in restitution for the Aug. 16 fire.
The fire destroyed six homes and caused evacuations in Kern and Tulare counties.
He was driving off-road illegally when his car got stuck on a berm and his catalytic converter and muffler ignited dead grass.
The judge said he made no effort to get help after the blaze erupted.
Later, Garcia-Avalos, a Mexican national, reported to his probation office and was detained for deportation proceedings. He had previous convictions for burglary and car theft.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/