WEATHER »
County prosecutors have decided not to press charges in the Sherpa Fire, seen here on June 17, 2016, two days after the conflagration started.

Martin Kurnik

County prosecutors have decided not to press charges in the Sherpa Fire, seen here on June 17, 2016, two days after the conflagration started.


Santa Barbara County Not Filing Charges in Sherpa Fire


Santa Barbara County “is not filing [criminal] charges in the Sherpa [Fire] case,” said District Attorney Joyce Dudley, referring to last summer’s 7,500-acre wildfire. The wind-driven conflagration started accidentally on the warm and windy afternoon of June 15, when, according to County Fire, a Rancho La Scherpa resident removed a smoking log from a fireplace and placed it outside to extinguish but failed to contain runaway embers. The multiagency suppression effort cost more than $16 million, and agricultural losses were estimated at $3 million.

“It has not yet been determined” whether the U.S. Forest Service, the fire’s lead agency, will attempt to recover expenditures, according National Press Officer Babete Anderson, adding, “One of our Law Enforcement and Investigations Special Agents is completing a Report of Investigations … [for] our Albuquerque Service Center, [which] will then review and make a determination to move forward or not.” The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) also responded to Sherpa in force; the agency’s public affairs representative did not respond to requests for comment.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

You Solve It,’ City Tells County on Library Money Shortage

To avoid financial shortfall, city sends ball back to county's court.

Vigil for Victims in Palestine Held at Courthouse

Community gathers to protest injustice.

Stoker to Be Sworn into EPA Job

Former Santa Barbara County supervisor confirms his appointment as regional head of Environmental Protection Agency.

Live Stream of Channel Island Falcons Makes History

Webcam follows wild peregrine falcon family on the Channel Islands.

Sonos Informs Employees of Potential Layoffs

'Restructuring' could affect 96; how many in Santa Barbara unknown.