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SLO County DA drops charges against man accused of starting the Hill Fire in Santa Margarita

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jan 10, 2020

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's office dropped the charges against a man accused of starting a fire in rural Santa Margarita in 2017.

David Lynn Macagni, 77, was accused of starting The Hill Fire. That fire broke out on June 26, 2017 on Park Hill Road and La Entrada, east of Santa Margarita and burned 1,598 acres. Full containment was reached just four days after it started.

When the fire broke out 250 people were ordered to evacuate. Four homes were destroyed, including the home of actor Johnny Galecki, star of "The Big Bang Theory."

In 2017, Cal Fire reported the fire was initially started by a vehicle. After further investigation, prosecutors charged Macagni with a single misdemeanor count of recklessly causing a fire.

The trial for Macagni was set to begin on Jan. 14, however according to the District Attorney's Office, the prosecution filed to dismiss Macagni's case due to insufficent evidence.