Man sentenced to prison for starting Boulder 2700 fire

A Lake County man was sentenced to prison on Friday after being convicted for starting two fires, including the massive Boulder 2700 fire that torched over 2,000 acres east of Polson in the summer of 2021.

Craig A. McCrea, 38, was sentenced to 60 years at Montana State Prison, with 30 years suspended, according to a press release from the Montana Attorney General’s Office. McCrea was also ordered to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution.

McCrea was found guilty on two felony counts of arson on Feb. 8 by a 12-person jury.

The Boulder 2700 fire burned over 2,500 acres and destroyed 14 homes and 17 structures, the release said.

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McCrea is also responsible for starting the Finley fire in Missoula County north of Evaro Hill in July 2021, which burned 18 acres.

Assistant Attorneys General Thorin Geist and Caitlin Creighton prosecuted the case with the assistance of Lake County Attorney James Lapotka. It was investigated by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

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