SANTA CRUZ — The Kansas woman charged with three felony counts of arson related to recent Boulder Creek vegetation fires pleaded not guilty Tuesday.
Mary Ferino, 34, was ordered held without bail at Santa Cruz County Jail and is scheduled for a preliminary court hearing May 3, pending confirmation.
Assistant District Attorney Charlie Baum, in arguing against the lowering of Ferino’s bail, said a helicopter had been called in to make a water drop on one of the fires Ferino is charged with igniting. Ferino’s bail initially was set at $5,000, before an increase was requested.
Cal Fire arrested Ferino Thursday where she was camping in the Pond View Drive area of Boulder Creek, Cal Fire CZU spokesperson Cecile Juliette announced Saturday. Two vegetation fires had previously broken out in that same area, Juliette said, including a fire reported around 7:30 p.m. the same evening.
Also Thursday, shortly before 6 p.m., a separate quarter-acre vegetation fire had been reported at the Skylark Canyon Girl Scout Camp, in the Whitehouse Canyon Area. The two fires had the width of Big Basin Redwoods State Park between them, with the canyon fire closer to the coast. Both fires, however, broke out within the boundaries of 2020’s CZU August Lightning Complex burn area, according to posts to Cal Fire CZU’s Twitter account.
Around the same time as the #CanyonIncident last evening, there was also a fire in Boulder Creek. Copter 106 made water drops, and crews are at the scene today mopping up. Both fires were in the #CZULightningComplex burn area. More details will be released shortly.
— CAL FIRE CZU (@CALFIRECZU) April 16, 2021