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Man pleads guilty to starting Boles fire in Weed

YREKA, Calif. — A 25-year-old Northern California man has pleaded guilty to starting the Boles fire that destroyed 157 homes and other structures in the city of Weed last September and forced thousands of residents to evacuate.

The Siskiyou Daily News reports that Ronald Beau Marshall entered the plea in state court on Tuesday to a felony charge of recklessly causing a fire that burned buildings and forestland.

Prosecutors and law enforcement officials arrested Marshall three weeks after the blaze first was spotted near an apartment building where the Weed resident once lived.

He originally was charged with arson.

Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus tells the Daily News that further investigation showed that Marshall did not intend to cause the wildfire, which flared out of a small fire he told authorities he lit to warm himself.