Oregon woman ignited massive fire for ‘bored’ firefighters, heads to prison
On Wednesday, Sadie Renee Johnson, 23, was sentenced to 18 months in prison by US District Judge Marco Hernandez. In May, she pleaded guilty to sparking a fire that burned through 51,000 acres southeast of Portland, Oregon, back in July 2013. The fire ravaged the Warm Springs Indian Reservation for more than a week and cost almost $8 million to extinguish.
Johnson will also perform 200 hours of community service in the affected area, a sentence that Hernandez reportedly considered light, according to the Associated Press.
"You owe them much more than that," he said to her in court.
The fire began when Johnson threw a firework out of her car and lit up some brush, as noted by Reuters. Two days later, with the fire still raging, Johnson posted a status update on Facebook that read, “Like my fire?” which led detectives to detain her. Johnson eventually claimed that she started the fire because her friends in the fire department “were bored and needed work.”
The young woman has also stated she does have substance abuse problems, something that was taken into account by the judge as he determined her sentence. She could have potentially faced five years in prison.
As part of her sentence, Johnson will take part in a six-month treatment course for drug and alcohol abuse when she leaves jail.
In court on Wednesday, Johnson said she has learned from he actions and is prepared to move forward.
"Time cannot be reversed nor choices taken back once made," she told the judge, as quoted by the AP. "I will not be making this mistake twice."