Man ordered to pay $2.7 M for New Mexico fire

GavelA Texas resident has been ordered to pay $2,700,000 in restitution for starting a wildfire in New Mexico in April of 2011. Rodrigo Ulloa-Esquivel of El Paso admitted that he lit toilet paper on fire after relieving himself. He explained that he did not want to leave litter behind. The Last Chance fire burned 53,342 acres in the Lincoln National Forest and damaged four structures in the Sitting Bulls Falls Recreation area. U.S. Forest Service officials said it cost $2,300,000 million to suppress the fire and the damages to the structures amounted to $67,500.

He was also sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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