Alleged Courtney arsonist in court

Oscar Bustillos, the Apple Valley man who allegedly started the Courtney Fire that destroyed dozens of homes last year, is scheduled to begin trial in November

During a court hearing Thursday, Bustillos was charged with felony arson for unlawfully causing fire near inhabited structures or properties, as well as two misdemeanor counts for carelessly starting a blaze.

On Sept. 14, 2014, Bustillos was allegedly attempting to burn a deer carcass when the charred corpse caught fire in surrounding brush and trees, which ignited a 320-acre inferno that rapidly consumed at least 33 surrounding homes.

Near Road 426, and at the southern end of Bass Lake, evacuation orders came in as crews tried to keep the flames from scorching homes and other buildings.

Bustillos, arrested in November last year, remains free after posting $10,000 bond. He has plead not guilty.

Staff report