Nathaniel Bartholomew will find out next month if he will go to prison for purposefully igniting a wildfire this past summer that destroyed one home and threatened more than 100 others near the Wilderness Ranch subdivision.
Batholomew, 19, a former member of the Clear Creek volunteer fire department who lives in the Robie Creek area, pleaded guilty in January to one count of felony third-degree arson a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Bartholomew was supposed to be sentenced Thursday but that was delayed after he asked for a mental health evaluation. Fourth District Patrick Owen is now set to sentence Bartholomew April 19 at the Boise County courthouse. There is no plea agreement or recommendation for a sentence with Boise County prosecutors.
Several people who live in or near Wilderness Ranch and attended Thursdays hearing said they would he back next month.
If not for those (wildland firefighters) our homes would have burned, said Tom Tiedemann, who said he had never met Bartholomew before. I just wanted to see for myself what kind of person would do that.
Whatever happens, I hope the judge says (Bartholomew) he isnt allowed to work for any volunteer fire departments, or be allowed to live in a forested area, for the duration of his sentence, said Tim Boyle.
The Karney Fire started Sept. 17 about five miles north of Idaho 21 along Robie Creek Road east of Boise. By the time firefighters contained the blaze several days later, 440 acres had burned.
Boise County sheriff's officials said last fall Bartholomew might have set the fire to get the attention of his father, also a firefighter. Chief Deputy Dale Rogers said Bartholomew told investigators that working with his dad on fires was a bonding experience.
It is unclear how much financial restitution prosecutors will seek from Bartholomew. The final costs for fighting the Karney Fire were just under $2.3 million, according to Idaho Department of Lands reports.