SAN DIEGO, May 20 (UPI) -- A U.S. Marine has admitted starting a San Diego wildfire that burned parts of Camp Pendleton and triggered evacuations last year, prosecutors say.
Lance Cpl. Nason Lamb, 22, will spend as much as a year in prison and receive a bad conduct discharge in last October's Juliet 2 fire, which Navy officials said cost $9.9 million to fight, along with the adjacent Juliet 1 wildfire, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Wednesday.
Lamb is facing a special court-martial at Camp Pendleton, which was expected to wrap up Wednesday. He told the judge, Col. Joseph Lisiecki, the fire started while he and other Marines jokingly used a cigarette lighter to set a small clump of grass ablaze and it quickly burned out of control, the Union-Tribune said.
Officials said the two Juliet fires combined to burn about 4,000 acres, threatening homes near Camp Pendleton and forcing the evacuation of as many as 1,225 people, the Union-Tribune reported.