MALIBU—Two male defendants were sentenced on Wednesday, October 20, in connection with Malibu’s Corral Fire in 2007, which burned approximately 5,000 acres, destroyed 53 homes and injured five firefighters.

Eric Matthew Ullman, 21, and Dean Allen Lavorante, 22, pleaded no contest to recklessly starting the fire. The Los Angeles County Superior Court judge sentenced the two defendants to five years probation, in addition to 500 hours of community service.

The judge ruled the two men were not liable for the $25 million restitution and damages caused by the fire, but did declare the two men responsible to pay a $1,000 fine to the state restitution fund.

Ullman and Lavorante were the final two of the five men charged in connection with the Corral Fire. The other three defendants all pleaded no contest to the charges.

Brian Anderson, 25, and William Coppock, 26, were charged with one count each of recklessly causing a fire with great bodily injury and recklessly causing a fire to an inhabited structure. Anderson and Coppock were sentenced to a year in jail, along with a probationary period and community service. The two men must also pay $7.7 million in restitution for the firefighting services alone. Brian Franks, 30, agreed to a plea bargain and testified against Anderson and Coppock. He was sentenced to five years probation and 300 hours of community service.

It was decided that the men fled the scene after the fire started. Anderson and Coppock were found to be most at fault for the fire because they kicked burning wood and a pillow out of a cave where the men had started an illegal campfire.

When the men started the fire in Corral Canyon State Park on November 24, 2007, at around 3:30 a.m., the area was under a wildfire warning because of low humidity and high winds.

The courtroom held many victims of the fire who were disappointed it had taken nearly two years to sentence the defendants. The public was split: some believed the men received too light of a sentence for their crimes, while others agreed that the punishment was fair.