Hearing set for Sept. 3 in Willow Fire

Madera County District Attorney David A. Linn has announced that the minor who was charged with two felonies for starting the Willow Fire appeared in court Aug. 26 while in the custody of the Madera County Juvenile Detention Facility.

The minor, through his attorney, waived time for the jurisdictional hearing originally scheduled for Aug. 28, for the purposes of obtaining a psychological evaluation for the court.

He will be released to his parents’ custody, ordered to house arrest with electronic monitoring, and may not leave his residence for any reason other than attending school and counseling appointments.

The minor was allegedly in an area between North Fork and Bass Lake on July 25, took a lighter from a tool kit in his family’s car, and set some pine branches ablaze.

After the branches dropped to the ground, flames burst out in extremely dry vegetation and eventually exploded into the 5,702-acre Willow Fire that forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes and cost an estimated $20 million to contain.

The case is set for a review hearing, 1:30 p.m., Sept. 3 in department 5.

Madera County District Attorney’s Office