Four sentenced and ordered to pay $40 million for starting the 2017 Pier Fire

The blaze burned more than 36,000 acres in Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest in California

Pier Fire 2017 sentenced
Booking photos by Tulare County District Attorney’s Office

Four people were sentenced for starting the Pier Fire that burned more than 36,000 acres east of Springville, California in Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest in August and September of 2017.

On Monday Isiac Renteria, 23, Richard Renteria, 25, Osvaldo Esparza-Guerrero, and Breana Ojeda, 24, each pleaded guilty to felony charges related to arson. They received sentences of 9 years suspended prison with credit for serving 3 years in custody, except for Ojeca who received a sentence of 3 years, 4 months of suspended prison.

Pier Fire progression map
Pier Fire progression map. IMT.

All four were ordered to pay $40 million in restitution, which was the cost of damages and suppression of the Pier Fire. There will be a restitution hearing on October 6.

Investigators determined that they burned a stolen vehicle, which ignited the wildfire.

Pier Fire 2017
Pier Fire. Photo by Fire Behavior Assessment Team.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Jim.

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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.

6 thoughts on “Four sentenced and ordered to pay $40 million for starting the 2017 Pier Fire”

  1. $40 Million Dollars? Let’s see; what does pit run go for these days? Those kids are looking at a long time on the rock-pile to get that worked off! Give them a week or two off every year to go ’round and speak to high schools about career choices.

  2. A sentence to life on a Corrections fire crew for life working fire with no chance of parole……but wait, CA reduced the numbers of their convict crews….never mind

  3. I’m trying to work up a case of sympathy for for these people, but so far I’ve had no luck in doing that. They should be doing the nine years minimum for the wildland arson, plus arson to a vehicle, and grand theft auto. Sadly, they will skate in the 40 million bill too as we all know it’s unfair to saddle “youth” with debt of that kind

  4. I live in Springville, have since 30+ years ago. This was one of the most scariest times for me and everyone here. The prayers and love those firefighters were sent just cannot be summed up in words. I am so glad to read its over. I realize there is no way they will pay the restitution (which as far as I am concerned, some should go to the fire fighters and their families for all the fear and danger they lived through) But I like many others are finally glad its all over. May God watch and protect all our fire fighters.


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