A California arsonist was caught after he recorded a selfie of himself setting a forest ablaze (video below).
Wayne Allen Huntsman, 39, pleaded guilty to setting a 2014 forest fire that damaged 156 square miles in northern California. On April 8, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison and a $60 million fine for starting the inferno, according to The Washington Post.
The King Fire in El Dorado County was ignited on Sept. 13, 2014 and burned for 27 days. It destroyed dozens of homes and forced thousands to evacuate. No one was killed.
Huntsman recorded the video of himself at the fire’s source and proudly shows off the two small forest fires that he stands between, saying, “I’m stuck in the middle, babe.”
The video came to light when Lars Knutsen, a retired firefighter, was driving past Huntsman as he fled from the scene. Knutsen offered Huntsman a ride. As soon as Huntsman got into the car, he began boasting about escaping death and had the video to prove it.
Huntsman showed the recording to the man, who recorded a copy off of Huntsman’s camera screen, according to Mashable.
“I got fire all around me,” Huntsman said in the recording. “I got fire right there,” he said as he pointed to his smartphone, “Look at me, babe. I got fire right there.”
Huntsman also came across a couple, Sheila and Stephan Mancuso, who asked what he was doing near the fire. The couple told police that Huntsman gave them cryptic answers and said, “You better get home. Your house is going to burn down.”
Huntsman, a former inmate firefighter, told authorities he lit the fire to stay warm after a long hike. The temperature that day was 93 degrees.
Knutsen turned the selfie copy over to police, and Huntsman was arrested a few days after the blaze.
The recording was later posted on YouTube and has more than 330,000 views in three days.