Guilty plea for teen accused of sparking Oregon wildfire

HOOD RIVER, Ore. — A teenager charged in juvenile court with starting a massive wildfire in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge last fall by tossing a lit firecracker into the woods has pleaded guilty.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the boy from Vancouver, Washington listened Friday to an hour of testimony from those affected by the wildfire and then read a statement apologizing for his actions.

He was sentenced to community service and five years of probation. Authorities have not released his name.

The early September blaze forced evacuations, caused an extended shutdown of an interstate highway and sent ash raining down on Portland.

The teen, who was 15 at the time, was charged in October with reckless burning, depositing burning materials on forest lands, criminal mischief and recklessly endangering other persons.