Man accused of starting Hub Fire accepts plea deal


When the Hub Fire started, folks in Lake Isabella thought, “Here we go again” with memories of the Erskine Fire still fresh in their minds.

On Monday, the man accused of starting that grass fire pleaded no contest to arson charges in court.

Investigators say 34-year-old Michael Bustamante started the so-called Hub Fire on June 12 that burned 35 acres just off Red Hill Road.

It took some 70 firefighters to contain it. Dozens of homes were threatened, but none burned. 

Bustamante was arrested two weeks later and charged with arson and attempted arson.

17 News asked Kern County Fire what the motive was for setting that fire, but have not heard back from them for this report.

Bustamante will be sentenced on Feb. 22.

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