9.19.14: Man faces arson charge in huge California wildfire
PLACERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A man with a long criminal history is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on charges that he set a huge wildfire still burning in Northern California.
California fire officials say the wind-whipped wildfire burned through 114 square miles of timber and vegetation east of Sacramento and has forced some 2,800 people from their homes. It is just 10 percent contained but had yet to damage or destroy any homes or buildings.
The suspect, 37-year-old Wayne Allen Huntsman, is being held on $10 million bail in El Dorado County Jail.
District Attorney Vern Pierson declined to say what led investigators to Huntsman. Investigators were in contact with Huntsman before his arrest Wednesday night in Placerville.
Huntsman’s sister, Tami Criswell, said she doubts her brother started the fire, but if he did, it wasn’t on purpose.