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Man gets 24 years in prison for Big Sur fire that killed 12 condors

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Posted at 11:46 AM, May 19, 2022

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) — A man who started a 2020 wildfire that killed 12 endangered California condors and seriously injured a firefighter has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Ivan Gomez was sentenced Wednesday in Monterey County.

He was found guilty of 16 felony counts, including arson and animal cruelty.

Prosecutors say Gomez told them he set the August 2020 Big Sur Dolan Fire while illegally growing marijuana in the Los Padres National Forest.

The blaze injured several firefighters, one seriously, burned about 125,00 acres, destroyed 10 homes, and burned down a condor sanctuary.