I'm very pleased to find out that the 10-year-old boy who started the fire near my home several weeks back will not be charge. An associated press article states, in part:
No charges for 10-year-old fire starter
LOS ANGELES - A 10-year-old boy who admitted starting a 38,000-acre fire last month that destroyed 21 homes in northern Los Angeles County will not be charged, prosecutors said.
There was no evidence of intent by the boy who accidentally ignited brush outside his home by playing with matches, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in a statement Tuesday.
Authorities are referring the case to the Department of Children and Family Services to determine if further steps are necessary.
I've been a 10-year-old boy. I've played with matches. I've even had a fire get out of control before (though I've never started a forest fire). I totally understand what happened. As of last week, the news reported that should authorities have to press charges against the boy, his family could be responsible for millions of dollars in damages and he could have gone to jail for up to 7 years. 7 years!
I'm grateful this worked out the way it did. This kid has learned a very important lesson, and I'm grateful that his youth and his family's life hasn't been ruined by this event. I am sorry for those who lost homes, however, and I hope their insurance doesn't play games with them. Mistakes happen, and sometimes it's best just to forgive and move on.