Nathaniel Bartholomew, a former member of the Clear Creek Volunteer Fire Department who lives in the Robie Creek area, faces up to 10 years in prison.
The 19-year-old Bartholo-mew pleaded guilty in January to one count of felony third-degree arson. He was supposed to be sentenced Thursday, but that was delayed after he asked for a mental health evaluation. Fourth District Judge Patrick Owen is set to sentence Bartholomew April 19 at the Boise County Courthouse. There is no plea agreement or recommendation for a sentence with prosecutors.
Several people who live in or near Wilderness Ranch said Thursday they'd be back for the April sentencing.
"If not for those (firefighters), our homes would have burned," said Tom Tiedemann, who said he'd not met Bartholomew. "I just wanted to see for myself what kind of person would do that."
"Whatever happens, I hope the judge says (Bartholomew) isn't 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 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 restitution prosecutors will seek. The final costs for fighting the fire were almost $2.3 million, according to the Idaho Department of Lands.
Patrick Orr: 377-6219, Twitter: @IDS_Orr