Reporting Ron Jones
AUBURN (CBS13) – Bail for the man accused of starting the Robbers Fire in Placer County was increased to $500,000 on Tuesday after charges against him were increased.
Bryon Mason, 28, of Sacramento is facing serious felony charges, including arson causing bodily injury, which could land him in state prison for more than decade if convicted.
The complaint against Mason also includes three separate enhancements alleging: “that a firefighter, peace officer or emergency personnel suffered great bodily injury as a result of the offense, that the defendant proximately caused great bodily injury to more than one victim and that the defendant proximately caused multiple structures to burn.”
He was originally only charged with recklessly starting a fire with a pyrotechnic device.
“It’s not easy. It’s very hard,” Mason’s mother said outside the Auburn courthouse before she was cut off from talking to reporters by Mason’s attorney.
Mason is accused of sparking the 2,650-acre fire near Foresthill earlier this month. Fore officials say the blaze injured several firefighters and burned one home and four outbuildings. Cal Fire has estimated it cost $13.5 million to fight the nine-day fire.
It also left countless residents on edge as they wondered if their homes would survive. And then a break in the case emerged when Mason was fingered as the arson suspect and arrested on Friday.
“The family is standing by him,” his mother said Tuesday before she was pulled away. Mason’s wife also was ushered away from reporters.
His attorney also declined to say much about the case.
“Obviously, it’s very early in the investigation so it’s really not appropriate to comment now about the facts and circumstances,” attorney Tom Leupp said.
Mason pleaded not guilty Tuesday and is scheduled to be back in court Aug. 14.