Man charged with arson for starting the King Fire

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s office has arrested a man for intentionally starting what has become the 73,184-acre King Fire west of Lake Tahoe, California. Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, of Pollock Pines was charged Thursday morning with a single count of arson of forest land. The charges include a special allegation — arson with aggravating factors. The complaint said those factors are:

A firefighter, peace officer, or other emergency personnel suffered great bodily injury as a result of the offense.

Wayne Allen Huntsman
Wayne Allen Huntsman

The criminal complaint, below, shows four past felonies, including three 1997 convictions in Santa Cruz County which include assault with a deadly weapon, grand theft and auto theft.

CAL FIRE and U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers, in conjunction with the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office cooperated to bring the charges against Mr. Huntsman.

Several media outlets are reporting that he is being held in lieu of $10-million bail.

DA Announces Filing of Criminal Complaint Against Wayne Allen Huntsman

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills.

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4 thoughts on “Man charged with arson for starting the King Fire”

  1. If found guilty he will probably do only a couple of years. California is a great liberal State for what ever? A stable weather system is in place today. Once the pressures starts changing, WATCHOUT! Ten mile “run” a few days ago. North Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley, Truckee, Hwy 80 all within reach during the next aggressive burning period. A North wind (Mono) event will cause the fire to turn back and travel back toward Hwy 50 in the direction of Camino. Maybe a little early in the year for this Fall event, hope so.

  2. California has the “three strikes” felony law requiring mandatory sentencing guidelines.

    If he is convicted, he faces upwards of 25+ years of incarceration.

  3. Johnny… in CA, arson is considered a violent crime, especially with aggravating circumstances such as “great bodily harm” attached.

    Thank you for your opinion.

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