Hiker convicted for nature reserve blaze

July 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

GUADALAJARA, Spain, July 10 (UPI) -- A hiker who sparked a deadly blaze that killed 11 firefighters in Guadalajara, Spain, was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $12.3 million.

Marcelino H.S., a Spanish national, lit a barbecue in July 2005 that sparked a fire that consumed 50 square miles of land. Fellow hikers, German national Iasson K. and Spanish national Juan Jose J.C. were acquitted, ThinkSpain reported.

Although the defendants were permitted to barbecue in the picnic zone of the Cueva de los Casares area of the Alto Tajo nature reserve, the court found Marcelino "acted without taking the most elementary precautions to prevent the flames from taking hold."

Twelve firefighters worked around the clock to reign in the flames; however, only one survived by hiding under a fire engine.

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