Cousins receive 48 hours jail for Ariz. wildfire

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Hotshot fire crew member walks down hill

Hotshot fire crew member walks down hill after taking weather measurements during Wallow fire in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, near Springerville, Arizona, June 8, 2011 (AP Photo)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – Two cousins who admitted starting the largest wildfire in Arizona history were sentenced Wednesday to 48 hours in jail and 200 hours of community service.
Caleb and David Malboeuf also will each be on supervised probation for five years. The Malboeufs were camping in eastern Arizona’s Apache Sitgreaves National Forest in May 2011 when their campfire spread outside its rings, sparking the Wallow Fire. The blaze burned more than 538,000 acres in Arizona and parts of western New Mexico before it was contained.

The cousins pleaded guilty in March to misdemeanor charges of building a campfire without clearing flammable material and leaving it unattended.

The fire destroyed 32 homes and four rental cabins, and at one point, nearly 10,000 people were forced to evacuate.

Prosecutors had reached out to nearly 60 people who could be entitled to restitution in the case, but none of them testified in court Wednesday on the extent of their losses. Court documents show that one woman suggested forming a panel so that victims could confront the Malboeufs on their actions. A restitution hearing is set for Oct. 15.
Prosecutors say the men offered consistent accounts and cooperated with authorities.

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