YOSEMITE LAKES PARK, Calif. — A convicted arsonist who set fires all over the Yosemite Lakes Park area may be released long before his prison sentence is up.

The string of fires happened back in 2013 and burned up properties and costing thousands in damages.

Now because of Prop 57, the convicted arsonist could get his freedom back.
Kenneth Jackson, the convicted arsonist is serving his third year of his thirty year sentence. 

Residents in the Yosemite Lakes Park said they are outraged he could come back to their community again.

“Three years to me doesn’t do justice,” said John Wandler, resident.

John Wandler has lived in Yosemite Lakes Park for 21 years and recalls the constant fires in 2013 as terrifying.

“It seemed like every other weekend was a plume of smoke,” said Wandler.

He said his home was right next to the first fire Kenneth Jackson set. His neighbor below him lost everything.

“He looks out and he sees the fire coming up on him. He had barely enough time to get out and it just burned the house to the ground,” said Wandler.
Kenneth Jackson set off around 30 fires causing tens of thousands in damages. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for arson, which is considered a non-violent felony.

Now because of Prop 57, which allows non violent felons to be released early, Jackson could be eligible for parole. This causes concern among Yosemite Lakes residents.

“Is he going to come here is he going to start more fires?” Said Wandler.

“He should stay there, its terrible what he did,” said Toni McClellan, mother lives in Yosemite Lakes Park area.

Now the Madera County District Attorney is preparing an argument filled with letters from victims of the fires. Residents in the area hope it will make a difference.

“I would hope that they would find some way to hold off releasing him,” said Wandler.

District Attorney Linn said they have already received a large number of letters from fire victims and his office adds that they are doing everything possible to keep Jackson in state prison.

To give all residents a chance to express their views, District Attorney Linn will be holding a meeting from 5 to 8 pm on Wednesday 28464 Margaret Road in Coarsegold.