Reckless arson accusations raised against father, son suspected to have triggered Caldor Fire

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A father and son who were suspected to be behind the Caldor Fire, which triggered widespread evacuations, have been arrested. The fire has burned for more than two months, destroying over 220, 000 acres of Northern California land, while also destroying 1, 003 structures. The disaster has even affected the city of South Lake Tahoe, SFGATE reported.

66-year-old David Scott Smith and 32-year-old Travis Shane Smith were arrested Wednesday for their alleged involvement in starting the fire, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office said through a statement posted on Facebook.

The Smiths face “reckless arson” accusations linked to the fire. Officials, however, did not provide further details on what resulted in the two men’s arrest.

As compared to “malicious” arson, reckless arson or reckless burning charge is less serious which only demands officials to release evidence that an individual or individuals “willfully and maliciously sets fire to or burns … any structure, forest land, or property.”

Anyone who is convicted of reckless arson faces six years of maximum sentence.

Each of the Smiths is under authorities’ custody, KCRA reported, and are held on $1 million bail each.

The District Attorney’s Office said that the arrest was made after the U.S. Forest Service, the California Department of Justice, Cal Fire, and the Sacramento County District Attorney did their combined investigation.

SFGATE has reached out to the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office but it did not immediately give its comment on the matter.