Woman Arrested For Setting Forest Meadow Fire
Murphys, CA – A Calaveras County woman has been arrested for arson in connection with a fire North of Murphys in the Forest Meadows community while residents were inside a home.
The blaze was sparked on Tuesday (July 23) afternoon in some grass next to a home on Sandalwood Drive near the Forest Meadows Golf Course. As reported here, it was put out by some residents in the area shortly after it ignited. CAL Fire spokesperson Emily Kilgore confirmed Clarke Broadcasting’s inquiries regarding whether the fire was intentionally set. She details, “The fire was contained to 0.14 acres and damaged an adjacent residence. During the course of the investigation a 25-year-old female, Katrina Kelly, was identified as the person responsible for the fire.”
Kilgore did not have the specifics on exactly how Kelly allegedly started the blaze or whether accelerant was used or her motive. Kilgore notes that witnesses helped in targeting Kelly with the crime.
Kelly was arrested for arson to an inhabited structure enhanced by being sparked during a State of Emergency, which has been in place since March 22nd of this year. Kilgore reminds that declaration was instated due to tree die-off, worsening forest conditions, extremely dangerous fire risk and the deadliest and most destructive wildfires to occur in California’s history, which occurred in 2017 and 2018.
Arson carries a prison sentence of between 16 months and nine years. However, Kilgore notes, “During a State of Emergency, the potential sentence for committing the crime of arson is increased.”