Father and son accused of reckless arson in Caldor Fire

Flames consume multiple homes as the Caldor fire pushes into the Echo Summit area, California on August 30, 2021. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 2:16 PM PT – Thursday, December 9, 2021

A father and son are being held on $1 million bail in connection with starting the Caldor Fire in Northern California.

David Scott Smith and his son, Travis, were arrested on Wednesday and accused, but not yet charged, with reckless arson. The El Dorado district attorney said the men were illegally shooting a weapon, which ignited the massive blaze near Lake Tahoe earlier this year.

Their attorney said it was an accident and that the pair did their best to alert authorities.

“These people called in the fire on 911. They called it in as soon as they saw it. And the call dropped a couple times, I believe, and they kept calling back. They also warned some other campers in the area there was a fire,” said Defense Attorney Mark Reichel.

The fire burned for more than two months across three counties, charring 200,000 acres and destroying more than 1,000 structures, including 770 homes. Sixteen firefighters and two civilians were injured and tens-of-thousands were forced to evacuate.

Meanwhile, the men are set to make their first court appearance on Friday.

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