Man ordered to pay $1.7 million for eastern Idaho fire

Kristian Lopez lit the bottle rocket that started the Henry's Creek Fire in August of 2016, investigators say.

IDAHO FALLS - An eastern Idaho man who started a wildfire with illegal fireworks in 2016 has been ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution.

The Post Register reports that 21-year-old Kristian Lopez of Ammon didn't appear Friday at the restitution hearing in the Bonneville County Courthouse, where Magistrate Judge Steven Gardner granted the default judgment.

Lopez was shooting bottle rockets on August 21, 2016, when one ignited what became known as the Henry's Creek Fire. The wildfire scorched 81 square miles that included a wildlife refuge and farmland.

Lopez told investigators he and his friends tried to extinguish the fire, but failed.

Lopez in September 2016 pleaded guilty to misdemeanor malicious injury to property, and in December 2016 was given a suspended sentence of 180 days in jail.

© 2017 Associated Press


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