Man accused of starting N. California wildfire

(File) (David McNew, Getty Images)
(File) (David McNew, Getty Images)
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Updated: 7/13 1:19 pm

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Officials say a 27-year-old man who was allegedly at an illegal marijuana plot is suspected of starting a wildfire that has burned more than 4 1/2 square miles of forested land in northern California.

CalFire says Freddie Alexander Smoke III was arrested Saturday and accused of recklessly causing a fire and with marijuana cultivation, both felonies.

The agency says he was delivering material to the pot site in Shasta County when the exhaust from his truck ignited dry grass.

Officials say the so-called Bully fire has since grown to nearly 3,000 acres. More than 1,000 personnel are involved in fighting the blaze, which was just 10 percent contained Saturday night.

The wildfire had prompted evacuations and road closures, but CalFire said all residents have been allowed to return home and all roads have been open to them.

 

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