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Father and son arrested for arson in connection with Caldor Fire

Grizzly Flats, Calif. Tuesday, August 17, 2021.
Andrew Nixon
Grizzly Flats, Calif. Tuesday, August 17, 2021.

The El Dorado County District Attorney announced the arrest of a father and son for allegedly starting the massive Caldor Fire, which threatened communities near Lake Tahoe last August.

David Scott Smith, 66, and Travis Shane Smith, 32, are accused of reckless arson related to the fire that started Aug. 14 near Omo Ranch. Authorities did not provide additional details on how the two men may have started the Caldor Fire and would not release the arrest warrant Wednesday night.

The Caldor Fire burned for 67 days In El Dorado and Amador counties, destroying more than 1,000 structures and forcing 53,000 people from their homes. It was the second fire to burn across the crest of the Sierra Nevada in state history, the first being the Dixie Fire earlier this summer.

Mark Almer lives in Grizzly Flats, the town nearly wiped off the map by the blaze.

“The people of Grizzly Flats, I think they will have some peace of mind knowing that the cause and origin was determined," Almer said. "But I think people have already started to try and move on within the process.”

Almer’s home is still standing, though most of this neighborhood was reduced to ash.

This is a developing story. We will update it as we learn more.

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