Death sentence in wildfire that killed 5

RIVERSIDE, Calif., June 5 (UPI) -- A Southern California auto mechanic was sentenced to death Friday for setting a wildfire that killed a U.S. Forest Service firefighting crew in 2006.

Jury recommends death penalty for arsonist

RIVERSIDE, Calif., March 19 (UPI) -- A jury in Riverside, Calif., recommended the death penalty for the man convicted of started the Esperanza Fire in 2006 in which five firefighters died.

Oyler guilty of 5 murders in wildfire

RIVERSIDE, Calif., March 6 (UPI) -- A jury in Southern California Friday found Raymond Lee Oyler guilty on five counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of firefighters during a 2006 wildfire.

Wildfire homicide trial projected for 2008

RIVERSIDE, Calif., May 12 (UPI) -- The homicide trial of the accused arsonist in a deadly Southern California wildfire likely won't start for another year.

Freeing dog said behind fatal wildfire

LOS ANGELES, March 15 (UPI) -- The California wildfire that killed five firefighters may have been set as a diversion to free a pit bull from a pound, a relative of the alleged arsonist said.

The Esperanza Fire was a wind-driven arson-caused wildfire that was started in a river wash near Cabazon, California, west of Palm Springs, California. By Sunday, October 29, 2006, it had burned over 61 square miles (160 km²) and was 85% contained. On Monday, October 30, 2006, at 6:00 PM PST, the fire was declared fully contained.

Five firefighters were killed defending a vacant, partially-built home that was destroyed by the fire: Jason McKay, Jess McLean, Daniel Hoover-Najera, Mark Loutzenhiser, and Pablo Cerda. In June 2009, Raymond Lee Oyler was sentenced to death for starting the fire.

It started at 1:12 AM PDT on October 26, 2006 and burned an estimated 40,200 acres (163 km²) before containment. It resulted in the deaths of five firefighters, and also destroyed 34 houses and 20 outbuildings, as well as damaging State Route 243 severely enough that motorists required an escort until the damage could be repaired. The damage the fire caused is estimated at more than $9 million, and it is the worst wildfire/firefighting disaster since 1994.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Raymond Lee Oyler."
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