Charges filed against father, son for starting Caldor Fire

Travis Shane Smith, left, and David Scott Smith.
Travis Shane Smith, left, and David Scott Smith.(El Dorado County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 3:41 PM PST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 6:56 PM PST
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KOLO) -DEC. 9 UPDATE: Charges have been filed against a father and son accused of starting the Caldor Fire that burned 221,000 acres in El Dorado and Amador counties.

David Scott Smith, 66, and Travis Shane Smith, 32, have both been charged with felony counts of racklessly causing a fire with great bodily injury; with setting fire to structures in unincorporated El Dorado County; with burning U.S. Forest Service land; and with possessing a gun silencer.

Both have enhancements that could add more prison time if convicted of injuring a first responder through their fire, injuring more than one person and causing more than one structure to burn.

Travis Smith is charged with converting a gun to a machine gun.

The criminal complaint did not specify how they allegedly started the fire.

Their lawyer, Mark Reichel, did not return a phone call seeking comment but told The Associated Press on Wednesday reckless arson includes starting a blaze by accident but “to such a degree that it was considered reckless,”

ORIGINAL STORY: A father and son have been arrested for starting the Caldor Fire that burned 221,000 acres

There were 782 single residences destroyed, 18 commercial properties destroyed and 203 minor structures, like garages and sheds, destroyed.

The El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office said David Scott Smith, 66, and Travis Shane Smith, 32, were arrested.

They are accused of reckless arson in the fire that burned in El Dorado and Amador counties.

Mark Reichel is the attorney for both men and says reckless arson includes starting a blaze by accident but “to such a degree that it was considered reckless,” The Associated Press reported.

The El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office worked together with the U.S. Forest Service, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention, the California Department of Justice and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Crime Lab to investigate the cause of the Caldor Fire.

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