Model who burned down 3,500-year-old tree called 'The Senator' while high on meth avoids jail time Sara Barnes, 28, of Winter Park, Florida, was 'identified by two witnesses' She caused 125ft bald cypress tree to burn and collapse in January, police say Officials found methamphetamine, scales and drug equipment at her home By Michael Zennie Updated: 12:17 EST, 8 June 2014 A Florida model who admitted to burning down a 3,500-year-old tree so she could see the methamphetamine she was trying to smoke has avoided jail time. Sara Barnes, 28, who claimed on her modeling web page that she was a nature enthusiast, must perform 250 hours of labor and pay more than $12,000 in restitution for starting the January 2012 fire that claimed the tree, called The Senator in Seminole County, Florida. The Senator stood 125 feet high and was 17 and a half feet in diameter was a sapling when the Pharaohs ruled Ancient Egypt in the 14th century BC. By the time Jesus Christ was born, it was nearly 1,500 years old. Too late: Seminole County and Longwood firemen watched helplessly as the 3,500-year-old tree burned Not one with nature: Authorities found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia at Barnes's home in Florida Model: Sara Barnes, 26, of Winter Park, Florida, was identified by two witnesses as the person who caused the 118ft bald cypress tree named 'The Senator' to burn and collapse on January 16, police said It went up in flames about 5.30am on January 16, 2012 after Barnes lit a fire inside it. She said she frequently went to the tree to smoke meth. That morning, she lit a fire so that she could see the drugs she was trying to light up. She told police the fire got out of control. Within hours, the Senator, the fifth oldest tree in the world, had collapsed into a pile of charred kindling. Investigators say they found pictures of Barnes starting the fire on her phone and laptop. The Orlando Sentinel reports that if Barnes abides by the terms of her sentence, she will a two and a half year prison sentence. She pleaded no contest to unlawful burning of lands, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Famed: It was named for Senator M.O. Overstreet who donated the tree's land to the state in 1927 Tourist attraction: A plaque at the site of The Senator heralds it as the largest Cypress in the U.S. Wreckage: A Seminole County firefighter foams down what is left of The Senator, a 3,500-year-old cypress tree that burned in Big Tree Park in Longwood, Florida, right, and as it used to stand, left Barnes, who had admitted to being a methamphetamine addict, says she had already begun attending drug counseling, another condition of her probation. However, in February she was arrested on drunken driving charges. Those legal issues are still pending. The Senator was a beloved symbol in Big Tree Park in Longwood, Florida. After it was destroyed, several local artists took pieces of its charred remained and used them in art installations to honor the tree. Last year, Seminole County officials spent $7,000 to plant a 50-foot sapling taken from The Senator in Big Tree Park, hoping to continue to legacy of the ancient organism.