The 57-year-old will serve 24 months for setting two fires in 2004.
Associated Press Tucson, Arizona A former Coconino National Forest fire boss convicted of illegally setting wildfires is set to report to federal prison in Tucson Wednesday. Van Bateman will be held in a medium-security prison, the Federal Correctional Institution Tucson, where he’ll have a cell mate, a bunk bed and communal showers, prison officials said. The 57-year-old will serve 24 months for setting two fires in 2004. Bateman’s case began in November 2005 after investigators said they had evidence placing him at the scene of at least one arson fire. By pleading guilty, Bateman avoided a maximum 25-year sentence. Bateman once headed one of the nation’s top wildfire incident management teams, helping suppress the Rodeo-Chediski fire, Arizona’s largest wildfire ever. After the Sept. 11 attacks, he and his team also assisted in recovery operations at the World Trade Center in New York City.