Homeless Man Convicted for Day Fire

In an attempt to control huge fires such as the Day Fire, which in 2006 burned through Ventura County for over a month, consuming over 160,000 acres of chaparral, Federal prosecutors took forest dweller Steven Emory Butcher to court.

On Friday he was convicted of starting the Day Fire. This gives prosecutors the option of assessing him for the costs of fighting the fire, estimated in the $70 million dollar range, but since he’s been homeless for years, the usefulness of that tactic looks limited.

The conviction was not a surprise: two years before he had confessed to starting another fire, the Ellis Fire, which burned 70 acres. Butcher is believed to be mentally ill, and prosecutors admitted that in past years, when fires were seemingly not as big a threat, they might not have prosecuted him.

Next question: Will this method work? Check back this September and maybe we’ll find out. Here’s a photo from drumsandwhistles of what the sky looked like during September 06 ’round these parts.


Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

One thought on “Homeless Man Convicted for Day Fire

  1. He never admitted to starting any fires, but the truth is he accidentally started the small 2002 fire and was wrongfully convicted of the larger day fire. I have proof he did not start the day fire. The government needed someone to take a fall for the fire and who better than a homeless person. It is sad to see the way this country is run.


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