A 25-year-old woman was arrested for starting a .14-acre wildland fire on Sandalwood Drive in the community of Forest Meadows on July 23, 2019, according to a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) press release issued on July 24.
The release indicated that the suspect, Katrina Kelly, was charged with arson to an inhabited structure and arson during a state of emergency.
“California has been in a declared State of Emergency since March 22, 2019, due to tree die-off, worsening forest conditions, extremely dangerous fire risk and the deadliest and most destructive wildfires to occur in California’s history, which occurred in 2017 and 2018,” the release states. “The crime of arson carries a prison sentence of between 16 months and nine years. During a State of Emergency, the potential sentence for committing the crime of arson is increased.”
Cal Fire spokeswoman Emily Kilgore said the information in the press release is all that has been authorized to be released to the public at this time.
Kelly was booked into the Calaveras County Jail, the Sheriff’s Office confirmed on July 26.
During her arraignment in Calaveras County Superior Court on July 25, Kelly pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to court records.
The next court date for the case is a preliminary hearing on Aug. 2.