Telegraph Fire Starter Sentenced

December 4, 2008 6:39:06 PM PST
A judge sentenced Davin Mosher of Merced, to probation and community service for unintentionally starting the Telegraph Fire in July.Davin Mosher expressed remorse moments after being sentenced for accidentally starting the Telegraph Fire. "I just am very sorry for everything that happened," said Mosher.

Mosher sparked the 34 thousand acre fire while target shooting near the Merced River. He tried to put it out and immediately confessed, but the flames destroyed thirty Mariposa County homes.

Mariposa Co. District Attorney Bob Brown said, "Some credit goes to Mr. Mosher for his conduct after the fire started. I wish he had been more careful before."

Mosher represented himself during the hearing. The judge praised the 29 year old for taking responsibility for his actions before handing down the sentence.

Brown said, "He was basically placed on probation, it's an informal probation, he'll be on it for three years ? He was also ordered to pay a $500.00 fine and to do 60 hours of community service."

District Attorney Bob Brown says Mosher will also likely be ordered to pay massive restitution once the full extent of the damage is determined.

Brown said, "The state has a figure they've batted around that the cost of suppression was about $30 million dollars. I don't know what the private loss is going to turn out to be."

Orval Arebalo knows about that private loss all too well. This is what his property looked like in July. But now he's rebuilding with help from the community and hoping his new blue home will be ready in time for Christmas.

Arebalo said, "Our grandkids, that's all they've thought about. They want to go to our house for Christmas."

Like the community itself, Arebalo has mixed feelings about Mosher's sentence. He says it's a light punishment but understands the fire was an accident.

Arebalo said, "Why wreck a man's life for a mistake that he made? We all make mistakes."

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