Woman set reservation fire to give friends work

Sadie Renee Johnson, 23, will be sentenced September 3

A burnout operation in Oak Creek, Ore., as firefighters work to contain the Sunnyside Turnoff Fire burning on the Warm Springs Reservation. Thursday, July 25, 2013. (InciWeb.org)
A burnout operation in Oak Creek, Ore., as firefighters work to contain the Sunnyside Turnoff Fire burning on the Warm Springs Reservation. Thursday, July 25, 2013. (InciWeb.org)

BEND, Ore. (AP) – The U.S. Justice Department said Friday an Oregon woman pleaded guilty in May to starting a wildfire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation last year because her firefighter friends were bored and needed work.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Portland says 23-year-old Sadie Renee Johnson of Warm Springs tossed a small firework from a car in July 2013 into the roadside brush. The fire spread to about 80 square miles – 51,000 acres – and cost nearly $8 million to fight.

Investigators said she posted a Facebook question two days later: “like my fire?”

KTVZ-TV reported (http://bit.ly/VLKjxY) the Justice Department said it released details of the case Friday, while the wildfire season is underway, to underscore the danger of such reckless actions.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 3.

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