Girl, 13, to stand trial for starting Cocos Fire in San Marcos, California

A judge has ruled that a 13-year old girl is competent to stand trial after being accused of starting the Cocos Fire. In May the blaze burned about 1,995 acres and destroyed 36 homes in San Marcos, California, north of San Diego. The judge announced his decision in a hearing where the girl pleaded not guilty to four arson-related felony charges.

The Cocos Fire was one of at least 10 fires that burned in San Diego County during the same time period in mid-May.

During the proceeding the Deputy District Attorney told San Diego Superior Court Judge Rod Shelton that the girl’s parents, who were present in the courtroom, could be ordered to pay restitution in the case. County fire officials have estimated the costs of property damage and fire suppression to be about $12 million.

map Cocos Fire
Map showing the Cocos Fire. The dark red squares represent heat detected by a satellite at 2:27 p.m. PDT, May 15, 2014. The location of the icons can be as much as a mile in error.

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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.

4 thoughts on “Girl, 13, to stand trial for starting Cocos Fire in San Marcos, California”

  1. I have to say her choice to do this was beyond tragic for many including my family. my husband and I are both disabled married 43 years we lost everything, we didnt even have time to get our keepsakes or pictures. Making this worse my sons place was close and burnt down. They are a young family with a baby, they lost everything Non of us we’re able to take anything. We are still traumatized and to top it off no help from fema we weren’t considered a big enough tragedy for disaster relief, 27 people in my community were affected and are still struggling. I hope she learns and realizes her choice caused so much pain…. I pray she works hard to become a good woman so she can become a positive influence in society. I hate to think on top of everything shes ruined her whole life. Tragic on all levels

  2. Here in Oregon the news is reporting a girl being charged with starting a large fire on the Warm Springs reservation.She was bragging about it on social media.Said she started it because her fire fighter friends were bored.Supposedly will be making restitution payments on a 7million plus bill.Good luck with that.

  3. Kids. I was one once. Don’t like ’em much. Older I get, the more I think the Spartans had it right.


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