smoke plume from the esperanza fire

In March, Raymond Lee Oyler was found guilty of multiple counts of arson for intentionally starting the Esperanza wildfire in Riverside, California in October, 2006. The fire took the lives of five federal firefighters.

Today, a judge in Riverside County Superior Court sentenced him to death. In his ruling, Judge W. Charles Morgan said,

“Mr. Oyler set on a mission … to wreak havoc in this county by setting fires by his own design for his own purposes and as proven by the evidence he became more and more proficient. He knew that young men and woman would put their lives on the line to protect other people and property and he continued anyway.”

Read more on the Associated Press.

image of Esperanza Fire smoke plume via Christopher Boese.

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