Skip to main content

See also:

Suspect in Cocos fire appears in court

Burned acres just above Cal State San Marcos
Burned acres just above Cal State San Marcos
Maile Rudebusch

Back in May, North County was in danger as multiple fires raged throughout the area and was dubbed as the firestorms. One of the fires, which originated in San Marcos, the Cocos fire burned 2,000 acres and destroyed almost 40 homes. The fire sparked near Twin Oaks Road and not only forced the evacuation from Cal State San Marcos, but also hundreds of homes and businesses around San Marcos and surrounding areas. The eight-day fire required 500 firefighters combating it at the height of its destruction.

It was discovered that the devastating fire was started through arson, and the suspect that has been charged is a 13-year-old teenage girl. Along with the Cocos fire, at the same time there were also other fires raging across North County. The three predominate fires were the Cocos, the Bernardo and the Poinsettia fires. Together the estimated costs of damages to private property are around $30 million and cost the city around $28 million to extinguish. While the suspect in the Coco’s fire has not been tied to the others, the loss that homeowners and business that were affected by the Coco’s fire is staggering.

The girl, whose name is currently being withheld because she is a minor, appeared in San Diego County Juvenile Court in front of Superior Court Judge Aaron Katz where she is facing four felony charges and one misdemeanor. Her court appearance was on Wend. July 30, but while the court date was highly anticipated for all, it only lasted around ten minutes before Judge Katz postponed it awaiting a physiologic evaluation to be done on the girl. Her attorney is the one who raised the issue of the girl’s mental competency to face trial for her actions.

The charges she faces include two felony counts of arson of inhabited structure or property resulting in multiple structures being burned and two felony counts of arson of forestland. The misdemeanor charge that she faces is for letting a fire burn out of her control.

The second trial will take place on Aug. 20 and until that time it has been released that the girl is currently not in custody, but undergoing therapy and a required 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.