EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – A father and son have been arrested for reckless arson in connection with California’s Caldor Fire, the district attorney’s office announced on Facebook. They each face a $1 million bail after a multi-agency investigation.
David Scott Smith, 66, and Travis Shane Smith, 32, were arrested pursuant to Ramey warrants, which means that the warrant is issued before criminal charges are filed. Charges are expected within the next 48 hours, and are expected to be arraigned later this week, according to the DA’s office.
A lawyer for both men tells Nexstar’s KTXL the pair allegedly called 911 and alerted campers of the fire. He added that both are accused of illegally shooting a weapon.
The Caldor Fire began in the Eldorado National Forest on Aug. 14, destroying over 1,000 structures, including more than 770 homes, and scorched more than 221,835 acres as it moved toward South Lake Tahoe. The fire was fully contained on Oct. 21, nearly 70 days after it started.
According to Cal Fire, 18 people were injured as a result of the fire.
The flames also threatened multiple ski resorts, including Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort where it left chairlifts and trees scorched. President Joe Biden took an aerial tour of land charred by the Caldor Fire while visiting western states in September.
“These fires are blinking ‘code red’ for our nation. They’re gaining frequency and ferocity,” Biden said. “We know what we have to do.”