Crime

Boy accused of starting Willow fire placed on house arrest pending psychological evaluation

A back burn for the Willow fire created by crews on the southwest perimeter burns August 1. At the time, fire officials reported the fire was over 5,000 acres in size. It would eventually grow to 6,000 acres.
A back burn for the Willow fire created by crews on the southwest perimeter burns August 1. At the time, fire officials reported the fire was over 5,000 acres in size. It would eventually grow to 6,000 acres. ezamora@fresnobee.com

The boy accused of starting the Willow fire that scorched nearly 6,000 acres and prompted evacuations near North Fork was placed on electronic monitoring Wednesday and released to his mother’s custody, the Madera County District Attorney’s office reported.

The boy, who has not been identified due to his young age, will be psychologically evaluated and must return to court for a review hearing on Sept. 3. He may not leave his home except to attend school and counseling appointments until then.

The Willow fire started on July 25 and burned until mid-August. Its cost was estimated at $18.3 million.

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