Father and son accused of 'reckless arson' in Caldor Fire

A father and son were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of starting the Caldor Fire, which burned near Lake Tahoe earlier this year, leading residents to evacuate the area. 

David ScottDavid Albert ScottFather and son accused of 'reckless arson' in Caldor Fire Officials warn vaccine mandates could exacerbate truck driver shortage Bipartisan bill will change checkerboard of broadband connectivity in rural America MORE Smith, 66, and Travis Shane Smith, 32, were accused of "reckless arson" and arrested pursuant to Ramey warrants, which are issued before criminal charges are filed, the district attorney in El Dorado County, Calif., announced Wednesday.

The men, who are currently being held on $1 million bail each, were not immediately charged with a crime. 


Sacramento-based lawyer Mark Reichel said the pair hired him in August after their phones and home were searched, adding that they were shocked by the suggestion that they started the fire, according to The New York Times.

“My clients and I have literally just sat and waited for this day to come,” Reichel said. “As we sit here tonight, we have no idea what the prosecution’s theory is on how the fire started.”

Reichel told the Times that the men were at Eldorado National Forest for recreation when they saw the fire and called 911 several times. However, their calls kept dropping, he added.

The Caldor Fire spread to over 200,000 acres and destroyed about 2,000 structures in August.

It was the 15th-largest in California's history, the Times noted.