‘Like my fire?’ Woman admitted on FACEBOOK to starting $7.9 million, 51,000 acre wildfire
I call this whoredom for social media stardom. 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, and then bragged about it on Facebook.
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 first responders to the scene identified the point of origin at milepost 5 on the north side of the road, within a 1- to 1.5-acre area. Within minutes, the fire — later named the Sunnyside Turnoff Fire — had grown quickly, ultimately burning about 51,480 acres of brush on the reservation, officials said.
Ms Johnson is currently being held at the Columbia County Jail. She is due for sentencing on September 3. In addition to having to pay back millions of dollars for the fire, she also faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel told NewsChannel 21 yesterday that the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Indian Affairs gave the case ‘top priority.’
Ahhhh Facebook. The place where people light themselves on fire and light their towns on fire just so people will think they’re… interesting.