Father and son arrested on suspicion of starting massive California wildfire

The Hill – by Jenna Romaine

A father and son were arrested in California on Wednesday on suspicion of starting a massive wildfire that threatened Lake Tahoe in August.

“A father and son are now under arrest, accused of reckless arson in connection with the Caldor Fire, the massive wildfire that burned more than 200,000 acres in El Dorado and Amador Counties,” the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement on Facebook. “David Scott Smith, 66, and Travis Shane Smith, 32, were arrested pursuant to Ramey warrants.” 

A Ramey warrant refers to a warrant that is issued prior to criminal charges being filed.

The Caldor Fire ignited on Aug. 14, injuring two civilians, burning 221,835 acres, and destroying hundreds of homes and structures.

Mark Reichel, the attorney representing both men, told The Associated Press that Travis Smith is an electrician and was out with his father near where the fire started when they noticed the flames and Travis repeatedly attempted to call 911, but the calls kept dropping and the two went on to warn nearby campers.

“They are absolutely 100 percent innocent,” Reichel said.


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