Woman set reservation fire to give friends work

August 22, 2014 - 6:06 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A woman is to be sentenced next month for setting a wildfire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in central Oregon because her firefighter friends were bored and needed work.

The U.S. Justice Department said Friday that 23-year-old Sadie Renee Johnson of Warm Springs pleaded guilty in May to one count of starting brush and timber on fire, and is to be sentenced Sept. 3.

She was riding in a car with two little brothers in July, 2013, and lit a small firework and threw it out the window, where it ignited brush, court records say.

Johnson was arrested days after posting on Facebook, "Like my fire?"

The fire spread to about 80 square miles and cost nearly $8 million to put out.

She told investigators she never thought the fire would get so big, court records say.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 3. Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to a recommendation that Johnson spend 18 months in prison, followed by 180 days of alcohol and drug treatment. The maximum sentence is five years in prison, plus a $250,000 fine.

Her defense attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.

The Justice Department said it released details of the case Friday, while the wildfire season is underway, to underscore the danger of such reckless actions, TKTVZ-TV reported (http://bit.ly/VLKjxY) .

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Information from: KTVZ-TV, http://www.ktvz.com/