A Spokane man who started a 26-acre fire near Airway Heights when sparks from his drug pipe ignited dried grass will spend two months in jail.
Levi D. Graham, 24, pleaded guilty May 20 to first-degree reckless burning for the April 8 fire that threatened homes and forced evacuations.
Graham told police he was smoking THC oil from a pipe when sparks caught grass on fire and the flames spread in the area of U.S. Highway 2 and Grove Road, according to court documents.
He said in the documents he tried to extinguish the fire with a beer he was drinking. He then panicked, “knew the situation was bad” and ran away since the fire was getting out of control.
Graham told police he did not try to contact anyone about the fire and knew he was probably going to get arrested, according to documents. This was not the first time he started a brush fire by smoking, he told police.
Police found two candle lighters, a marijuana container and a plastic pipe while searching Graham, documents said.
The blaze burned timber and grass, and was driven by strong winds.
Graham was given credit for time served and may be required to pay restitution. The standard sentencing range was two to six months in jail, and the maximum punishment for the class C felony is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
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