Wildfire Sentence

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A Colorado appeals court has thrown out a 12-year-state prison sentence given to a former forestry worker who started the state's largest-ever wildfire.

The court ruled the sentence given to Terry Lynn Barton was too harsh.

Barton admitted setting the blaze in June of 2002. She said she'd been burning a letter from her ex-husband in a drought-stricken area.

The fire blackened 138,000 acres, destroyed 300 buildings and caused more than $29 million in property damage.

The ruling orders a new sentencing hearing before a new judge. It doesn't affect a separate six-year federal prison term related to the same fire.

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