Tulare County District Attorney arrests and charges four for Pier Fire
DA brings charges against four people over the start of the Pier Fire, max sentence is life
VISALIA – The Pier Fire might be in the back of some people’s mind as it was wrapped up in September, and perhaps because of the northern California inferno that claimed thousands of homes. But last week Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward announced criminal charges against Isiac Renteria, 19, Richard Renteria, 21, Osvaldo Esparza-Guerrero, 20, and Breane Ojeda, 21, related to the ignition of the Pier Fire that consumed nearly 37,000 acres east of Springville. Each defendant is from Visalia and was arrested on October 24, 2017, with Isiac Renteria being arrested in Sacramento.
Each is charged with aggravated arson, two counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, and two counts of unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle. Isiac Renteria, Richard Renteria, and Breane Ojeda are each charged with an additional count of unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle. Special allegations that multiple structures were burned and that an accelerant was used are attached to the arson and conspiracy charges.
If convicted on all counts, the defendants each face a maximum of life in prison.
It is alleged that in the early morning hours of August 29, 2017, the defendants deliberately set fire to a stolen car to destroy it, which in turn ignited the blaze that has incurred $40 million in damages and costs. The Pier Fire was declared contained on September 24, 2017. At its height, 2,000 local, state, and federal fire personal were dispatched to aid in the fire’s containment.