Ex-firefighter sentenced after igniting more fires

James Maw admitted to sparking 20 wildfires in 2013, and was arrested for lighting a fire on a ranch he worked on while on probation


By FireRescue1 Staff

HELENA, Mont. — A former seasonal firefighter was sentenced for starting a fire in 2016 after admitting to deliberately starting 20 wildfires in 2013.

Helena Independent Record reported that former firefighter James Maw was sentenced to 35 years in prison for starting a fire at a ranch where he worked while on probation for starting 20 wildfires in 2013.

When first arrested in 2013, Maw was in full firefighting gear and holding a trigger-operated lighter. He said he started the fires because he needed money and enjoyed the camaraderie of battling blazes.

Maw originally received a 40-year suspended sentence before being arrested in April 2016 for the ranch fire.

In the courtroom, Maw apologized to several firefighters who were there to watch the sentencing. He will be eligible for parole in eight years.

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