A firefighter looking for work may face 10 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to setting last summer’s “Rodeo” fire that merged with another blaze to become the most devastating wildfire in Arizona history.
Leonard Gregg, 31, confessed to two counts of arson during a federal court hearing, reports the Arizona Republic. Gregg, a contract firefighter with the White Mountain Apache Tribe, told investigators he set fires so he could make money doing hotshot work, and because he was upset about his parents’ chronic alcoholism.
Gregg lit a fire on the morning of June 18, 2002, that was quickly extinguished. He then lit a second fire that afternoon that eventually blackened 470,000 acres and destroyed 467 homes. He was among the first firefighters to respond.