The San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office has filed felony arson charges against the Bradley woman arrested last week on suspicion of setting fires in the North County over the summer.
The complaint alleges six counts of wildland arson and two counts of possession of an incendiary device against Debra Kay Collins, 58, in connection with six wildland fires started between Aug. 7 and Sept. 1, according to a news release.
The complaint also alleges that the fires were set during a declared state of emergency — the unrelated Chimney Fire — which increases the range of punishment for each arson from two, four or six years to five, seven or nine years. The maximum sentence is 22 years in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Collins is scheduled to be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, Department 3.
Cal Fire law enforcement officers in August began a surveillance investigation into a series of fires in the Lake Nacimiento Drive area that were ignited starting in June, according to a Cal Fire news release last week.
During an interview, Collins allegedly admitted to starting several fires, though investigators were able to determine she wasn’t involved in igniting the Chimney Fire, which started Aug. 13 south of Lake Nacimiento and burned 46,344 acres.
Cal Fire Capt. Robert Cordova said most of the fires Collins allegedly set burned about one acre.