U.S.|Woman Is Charged With Starting 2018 Wildfire in California
The Delta Fire burned more than 63,000 acres and forced a portion of Interstate 5 to close for days, the authorities said.
May 6, 2021, 9:18 a.m. ET
A woman was arrested on Wednesday and charged with starting a fire in 2018 that burned more than 63,000 acres, damaged 20 homes and injured two people in Northern California, the authorities said.
The woman, Cynthia Ann Leroux, was arrested at her home in Mountain Gate, Calif., Shasta County and Cal Fire officials said in a news conference. Shasta County is about 200 miles north of Sacramento.
Ms. Leroux faces 18 felony charges related to the Delta Fire, which started on Sept. 5, 2018. The charges include two counts of arson of forest land causing great bodily injury and 16 counts for the destruction of homes, said Stephanie Bridgett, the Shasta County district attorney.
One truck driver suffered burns and another sustained a head injury as a result of the fire, Ms. Bridgett said.
Ms. Leroux, 57, was also charged with two felonies related to fires she was accused of setting in December 2018 and March 2020.
Ms. Leroux was being held on $1 million bail. It was unclear if she had a lawyer.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of more than 50 years. The fire will cost at least $59 million in restoration efforts, the authorities said.
“The wildfires of 2018 destroyed our community and changed lives forever,” Ms. Bridgett said. “Countless people lost everything they owned.”
“With the drought that California is in, and fire season that is upon us, this announcement is a timely reminder of the consequences of setting fires,” she said.