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Man Who Set Sweet Creek Fire Faces 10 Years In Prison


Elia Newton Pendergrass pled guilty Wednesday morning in Lane County Circuit Court to arson in the first degree for setting a complex of fires near Mapleton in August. 

Pendergrass was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 36 months of post-prison supervision. Lane County Deputy District Attorney Spencer Gwartney told KLCC Pendergrass must also pay restitution but that amount has not yet been determined due to the scope and complexity of the damage. They have six months to gather restitution paperwork.

The Sweet Creek MP 2 Fire started on August 30th and prompted evacuations in the area. It burned 307 acres in mostly private and BLM land.

Copyright 2020 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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