This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A teen from Vancouver, Washington, who started a major wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon has been ordered to pay restitution over the next decade in the amount of $37 million.

In order to cover the costs of firefighting, repair and restoration to the tourist area of the gorge and damages to local homes, a judge ordered the teen to pay $36,618,330.24, according to The Oregonian. The judge acknowledged that the teen would likely never pay the sum in full. Victims of the wildfire included Union Pacific Railroad, Oregon Department of Transportation, US Forest Service as well as a number of other entities. State law allows Oregon to garnishee the teen’s bank accounts or paychecks. Oregon is also allowed to take the teen’s winnings if he wins the lottery; the state can also collect his refunds on tax returns.

In court, the 15-year-old pleaded guilty to reckless burning of public and private property as well as other charges including throwing two fireworks in Eagle Creek Canyon. The resulting wildfire burned 75 square miles of forest, hiking trails, a major interstate highway and devastated an outdoor tourist attraction.

The judge said that the teen can set up a payment plan to chip away at the $37 million fine; payments can be halted after 10 years as long as he complies, completes probation and doesn’t commit other crimes. The teen was sentenced to community service and probation. Additionally, he was ordered to write 152 letters of apology to those affected by the fire.

Featured image by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.