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California Briefing / Camp Pendleton

Lance corporal charged in fire

February 26, 2009|Tony Perry

A lance corporal has been charged with setting a fire last year that burned hundreds of acres and threatened homes in Fallbrook and Oceanside, military officials said Wednesday.

Lance Cpl. Nason G. Lamb was charged with making a false official statement, damage of military property and three specifications of reckless endangerment in connection with the so-called Juliett 2 fire that struck the base Oct. 13.

Details of the allegations were not released, but officials said the fire was started during a land-navigation exercise in the Juliett Training Area. The training did not include live-fire or any "fire-producing training aids," officials said.

The Juliett 2 fire struck just half an hour after another fire started about a mile away. Lamb is not charged in that fire. Officials said the cause of that fire is still undetermined.

A hearing will be held to determine if Lamb should go to a court-martial.

The two fires merged and destroyed approximately 4,000 acres. Homes in Oceanside were saved by aerial air drops.

If convicted, Lamb could receive more than eight years in prison and a dishonorable discharge, officials said.

-- Tony Perry

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