OROVILLE, Calif. - The Butte County Superior Court found Darren Diver, 41, of Oroville guilty of arson following the 2014 Launch Fire.
In September of 2014, Diver was under surveillance by Cal Fire arson investigators after a series of suspicious fires has occurred in the Lake Oroville State Park Recreation Area behind Diver's home in the 500 block of Lodgeview Drive.
On September 3, the defendant was observed leaving his home in his vehicle, which was being tracked by GPS as part of an ongoing investigation.
The GPS tracking showed that he took a route that was different than the one he normally took. He was then shown stopped on Oro Dam Boulevard East for a period of 30 seconds before continuing on toward his business located in Oroville at speeds of up to 83 mph.
Diver then parked his vehicle at his business and drove one of his work trucks back toward the fire. He was observed watching the fire as he drove through the fire location. He then returned home in his work truck.
Later analysis of the GPS data revealed that his vehicle stopped within 58 feet of the origin of the fire and at the same time Cal Fire investigators were able to determine the fire started.
The fire burned approximately .3 acres adjacent to Oro Dam Boulevard East near a turnout and was named the Launch Fire.
Diver will be sentenced on September 19, 2018 in Butte County Superior Court.
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