ID | Ryan N. Greene of Priest River, Idaho pled guilty to six counts of third-degree felony arson on February 16, 2023. Greene was sentenced to concurrent five years of prison for each charge and five years indeterminate.
Mr. Greene was responsible for several fires that occurred in Bonner County in July and August 2022 at the height of wildfire season, according to Idaho State Fire Marshal Knute Sandahl. “Thanks to the rapid and effective response by the West Pend Oreille Fire District and others, a major inferno was averted,” said Sandahl.
As part of the plea deal, the U.S. government agreed not to bring separate federal charges in connection to the summer 2022 fires. Greene was ordered to pay restitution and court costs of $245.50 per case for a total of $1,473.
Investigators from the Idaho State Fire Marshal’s Office, Bonner County Sheriff, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Idaho Department of Lands collaborated over a two-month period to identify Greene as the perpetrator. Investigators quickly identified a pattern with the fires and ascertained that a serial arsonist was responsible. Hundreds of hours of collaborative work were invested by all investigators. The State Fire Marshal’s Office spent approximately 120 hours on the case, collaborating on video surveillance, stakeouts and other investigative techniques.
Vehicles connected to Greene were seen in the area of three of the fires, all determined to have been human-caused. During interviews with investigators, Mr. Greene admitted to using gasoline, diesel, and lighter fluid to start the fires.
“Anyone considering arson should know that we will investigate, and we will prosecute,” stated Sandahl. “Arson is harmful to our state and affects state resources. We are appreciative of all the other agencies who assisted us in bringing this individual to justice, and protecting Idahoans from devastating fires and those who start them.”