Above: 3-D map of the Eagle Creek Fire looking southeast, showing the perimeter at 7:30 p.m. PDT September 5, 2017.
A judge has ordered the teen who started the Eagle Creek Fire last summer to pay restitution totaling $36.6 million.
After a complaint from the teen’s attorney that the judgement was “absurd” District Judge John Olson said during the hearing on Monday that it was “clearly proportionate to the offense”.
The fire burned 48,831 acres in the Columbia River Gorge in September, 2017. Most of the fire was on the Oregon side of the river but a burning ember started a spot fire on the Washington side which was quickly extinguished. The fire required the extended closure of Interstate 84, forced hundreds to evacuate, and poured smoke into Portland.
The judge acknowledged that the teen will have trouble coming up with $36.6 million and allowed him to establish a payment plan. If he completes probation and does not have any additional offenses, after 10 years the court may grant a full or partial halt of the restitution.