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San Diego County Wildfire Sparked By Teenage Girl, Judge Rules

03/24/2015 11:55 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2015
ASSOCIATED PRESS

March 24 (Reuters) - A California judge ruled on Tuesday that a teenage girl sparked a wildfire that scorched roughly 2,000 acres (800 hectares) and destroyed some 40 structures north of San Diego last May, officials said.

A San Diego Superior Court judge issued true findings, equivalent to guilty verdicts in an adult court, on three counts of arson and one misdemeanor fire charge against the 14-year-old girl in connection with the so-called Cocos Fire, San Diego County District Attorney spokeswoman Tanya Sierra said.

The girl has been identified only by her first name, Cheyenne, because she is a minor.

The fire raged for eight days in the drought-parched brush in San Diego County and consumed roughly a dozen houses and another 25 dwellings at a local spiritualism center, in addition to a commercial building, county officials said.

While the wildfire cost millions of dollars to contain, no one was hurt, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper reported that a disposition hearing, which is akin to a sentencing hearing, was scheduled for April 15. (Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Michael Perry)

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