The recent weather has been moist but on the day the Henry’s Creek fire erupted, fire swept through dry hills near Idaho Falls.
A sentencing hearing for the man accused of the Henry’s Creek Fire took place at the Bonneville County Courthouse Friday.
Kristian Lopez was to be sentenced but it was changed to a later date because the judge is waiting for the total cost of the fire damage.
However, Lopez’s bond was reduced from $10,000 to $2,000. Prosecutors said they are not happy with the reduction.
After the hearing, KIFI/KIDK sat down with Lopez at the Bonneville County Jail. He shared his thoughts about the whole scenario.
The August fire scorched over 50,000 acres and took almost two weeks to contain.
The fire was not intentional and it all happened so fast, he said.
“It wasn’t like I lit it intentionally, like I’m some crazy pryo. I was out there with my buddies and I lit one bottle rocket and it caught on fire. It was too quick for me to put out, with the wind and how dry it was,” Lopez said.
He understands he is at fault but thinks more could have been done by the fire department, he said.
“I know there’s restitution but I don’t feel like it’s all the way my fault. I mean, I did light the fire, but I did call for a reason, as soon as it was lit. Like, we got service. Me and my buddies, we got service on our phones and called them. And I drove all the way back into town, next to like, Maverick on Sunny Side, and the Ammon Fire Department is like a block away from there. But like the whole time of me driving there, and like getting to that Maverick, I didn’t see a siren once or anything and I feel like they could have done a better job about putting it out,” Lopez said.
Lopez said he feels remorse and apologizes to those affected by the fire.
“There are people that are pretty upset about it, and I apologize. It wasn’t my intention to go out there and start burning down land. I don’t know what the damage was, so I don’t really know what happened, but yeah. I’m sorry,” Lopez said.
Lopez’s sentencing was re-set for Dec. 2.
Prosecutor Daniel Clark said the restitution is still pending, due to not having all of the numbers yet.
Those affected by the fire are encouraged to call the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Department at 208-529-1200. The sheriff’s office wants to make certain that everyone who suffered property loss is accounted for.
They have until Nov. 15 to claim any damage caused by the fire.
NOTE: Ammon Fire Chief Stacy Hyde contacted KIFI/KIDK Friday night and said they were not dispatched until the following day because the area is covered by the Idaho Falls Fire Department, which was dispatched first.