A woman who pleaded guilty to tossing a lit firework out of a car and starting a massive wildfire –to help her firefighter mates out who were ‘bored’ has been fined $7million.
Sadie Renee Johnson, 23, pleaded guilty last year for the crime of setting brush and timber on fire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in north central Oregon.
The wildfire that she started blackened over 51,000 acres and forced widespread evacuations.
According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the approximate cost to fight and contain the wildfire was $7,901,973 — which she has been ordered to pay back in full.
During questioning, Ms Johnson told police that she started the fire because her firefighter friends were bored and needed work but she didn’t mean for it to be 30,000 acres.
But two days after the fire began, Ms Johnson took to social media site Facebook and posted an entry stating: ‘like my fire?’
She told authorities she thought it would be a two-day fire and be put out.
The U.S. Department of Justice said it released details about the case to deter others from attempting similar types of reckless behaviour.
According to police, Ms Johnson started the fire at 9.20am on July 20th last year.
She was riding as a passenger in a car on Route 3 near Sunnyside Drive, in Oregon, when she used a lighter to light a small firework.
She then tossed it out of the passenger window into the brush along the side of the road.
The firework lit a brush beside the road on fire, which quickly spread northwest.
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