Two Oakhurst teenagers who accidentally started the 13-acre Sundance Fire on Sept. 13, were arrested Monday by Cal Fire Battalion Chief Bernie Quinn and booked into the Madera County Juvenile Detention Facility.
Both boys appeared in juvenile court Wednesday, Sept. 23 for alleged felony arson and willfully causing a blaze after a petition was filed by the office of Madera County District Attorney David Linn.
According to Linn, the two teenagers are suspected of starting the 13-acre Sundance Fire, which erupted near Deadwood Mountain south of Oakhurst, Sunday afternoon, Sept. 13.
The official investigative Cal Fire report was written by Quinn, who is also the chief law enforcement officer for Cal Fire Madera-Mariposa-Merced unit.
It was learned during the initial investigation that two juveniles were lighting spray from aerosol cans, apparently shooting flames at each other, which ignited nearby dry vegetation.
Linn said as far as he knows, the fire was not intentional, but highly negligent.
The blaze started at 3:45 p.m., and its point of ignition was believed to be on Paulsen Lane off Highway 41, just south of Thornberry Road (420). The fire then jumped to the north side of 420, which is the entrance to Mudge Ranch. Mandatory evacuations were temporarily ordered for impacted residents.