SAN DIEGO, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- A teenage girl charged with starting a wildfire that burned about 40 houses north of San Diego is competent for trial, a judge said.
The 13-year-old entered not-guilty pleas Wednesday. She is charged with four felony counts of arson and one misdemeanor of allowing a fire to escape from her control.
The Cocos Fire on May 14 in San Marcos burned across almost 2,000 acres. The campus of Cal State San Marcos was evacuated and hundreds of residents forced from their homes.
San Marcos officials estimate the cost of the fire at more than $10 million. The teenager's parents were notified Wednesday that they could be responsible for damages.
A three-week evaluation determined the girl is competent to stand trial, the judge found. She is scheduled to return to court Sept. 16.