AUBURN (CBS13) – A 28-year-old Sacramento man was arrested on Friday and charged with causing the Robbers Fire that has burned more than 2,600 acres in rural Placer County.
“Twenty-eight years old is old enough to know better,” said resident Rich Gleason. “So it probably deserves some kind of punishment for it as far as I’m concerned.”
Bryon Mason was taken into custody without incident at about 2:45 p.m. at his place of unemployment in Sacramento County after an investigation by Cal Fire and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. He was being booked into the Placer County main jail in Auburn and charged with California Penal Code 452, defined as: a person guilty of unlawfully causing a fire when he recklessly sets fire to or burns or causes to be burned, any structure, forest land or property.
“We’ve received a number of tips early on that helped us to narrow down the cause of the fire,” said Cal Fire Unit Chief Brad Harris.
Mason is accused of using some sort of pyrotechnic device to start the fire in the Yankee Jims area of the American River Canyon, a few miles from the community of Foresthill. Officials at a 4 p.m. news conference declined to specify what type type of device caused the blaze.
The fire started on July 11. It destroyed one home and forced nearly 200 more residences to be evacuated. It’s expected to be fully contained on Saturday.
Cal Fire investigators are still looking for any witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to call the department’s arson hot line at 1-800-468-4408. Callers can remain anonymous.
“This is the third arrest our officers have made in less than a month,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of Cal Fire. “We don’t need reckless acts of carelessness and arson compounding California’s wildfire risk and we will continue to aggressively pursue those that engage in these types of acts.”