Teen ordered to pay $36.6 million in restitution for starting Oregon wildfire.
A judge ordered a Vancouver teenager to pay $36.6 million in restitution after the teen pleaded guilty earlier this year to starting last September’s massive Eagle Creek wildfire in the Columbia Gorge.
The judge had delayed the decision during a hearing in Hood River on Thursday, May 17, after the teenager’s defense attorney claimed that the statute requiring full restitution is unconstitutional if imposed on a juvenile.
The judge decided that the restitution requested in the case was in line with the seriousness of the offenses committed by the teen. He said, in a written ruling, that the restitution scheme meets the juvenile delinquency goals of “personal responsibility, accountability and reformation with in the context of public safety.”
The judge said the court finds that the teen is unable to pay the judgment in full, and authorized the Hood River Juvenile Department to establish a payment schedule. The judge said factors such as the teen’s financial resources and other obligations will be taken into consideration when determining an appropriate payment plan.
As part of his ruling, the judge also said “the court can grant a full or partial satisfaction of the restitution judgment after 10 years” if the teen has successfully completed probation, doesn’t commit additional offenses and complies with the payment plan.
Restitution was awarded to the following individuals and groups:
- $5,000 to Iris Schenk
- $8,111 to Allstate Insurance
- $31,551 to Oregon State Parks
- $100,000 to Heuker Properties
- $168,000 to Trail Club of Oregon
- $1,048,878 to Union Pacific Railroad
- $1,643,035 to Oregon State Fire Marshall
- $12,500,000 to ODOT
- $21,113,755 to US Forest Service