Superior man sentenced in District Court for setting forest fires
(Missoula Current) A man who admitted to setting fires on Forest Service lands near Superior was sentenced in District Court on Thursday to eight months in prison, along with three years of supervised release.
Jeremy Johannes Hennick, 52, also was ordered to pay more than $3,300 in restitution, according to U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich.
In court documents, the government alleged that between 2013 and 2021, more than 40 suspected arson fires were set on state and federal land in Mineral County.
In 2021 alone, 22 fires were documented and investigated. Law enforcement identified Hennick as a suspect after a vehicle he drove was spotted in the area of some of the fires.
The government further alleged that a fire was reported on National Forest System lands on Aug. 1, 2021, at about 5 a.m., near the junction of Mullan Road East and Riverbend Road in Mineral County.
Wildland fire investigators responded and documented the main fire and three additional burned items located more than 30 feet away. Investigators concluded each burned area represented a separate fire, that the fires were human-caused and had been set using homemade devices, such as cigarette packages stuffed with paper and sometimes covered with an accelerant.
Agents interviewed Hennick, who admitted he had been setting fires for four to five years, primarily by lighting trash on fire and throwing it out the window of whatever vehicle he was driving.