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Oregon teen ordered to pay $36.6 million in forest fire damage costs

(WSAZ)
Published: May. 21, 2018 at 8:30 PM EDT
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The Oregon teen who plead guilty to starting last year’s ravaging Eagle Creek Fire was ordered to pay roughly $36.6 million for damages caused by the fire, according to CBS affiliate KOIN-TV. The boy, who was 15 at the time, said he started the fire by throwing a lit firecracker into the woods.

District Judge John Olson issued his decision Monday after a lawyer for the teen argued that the cost of restitution was "absurd." Olson said his judgment does not violate the constitution and is "clearly proportionate to the offense" because "it does not exceed the financial damages caused by the youth."

The fire that started on Sept. 2, 2017 burned more than 48,000 acres of forest land.

The court received 11 requests for restitution that covered things like firefighting, repair to the gorge and damages to homes in the area. The court determined the restitution is the responsibility of the teen, not his parents, who came to the U.S. from Ukraine in 2000.

The court acknowledged the teen will not be able to pay the judgement at once, and will allow him to establish a payment plan. After 10 years, the court may grant a full or partial stoppage of the restitution provided the teen completes probation and is clear of any additional offenses.

He was also sentenced to more than two and a half months of community service.

After pleading guilty to his charges in February, the teen apologized in court and asked for forgiveness.