ROSEVILLE (CBS13) – The man charged with starting the Robbers fire in July of last year has been released from custody and all charges dropped.
The Placer County District Attorney’s office says a judge on Tuesday ordered Bryon Mason released from custody after ruling there was insufficient evidence to charge him. He had faced felony charges of arson causing great bodily injury and arson of an inhabited dwelling.
The District Attorney’s office says it disagrees with the judge’s ruling and will continue to move forward with the case. The District Attorney’s office still believes Mason is responsible for starting the fire that burned more than 2,600 acres in rural Placer County. The blaze destroyed one home and forced nearly 200 more residences to be evacuated. A firefighter was hurt battling the fire.
Prosecutors allege Mason lit and threw an illegal commercial-grade firework at a swimming hole in the Yankee Jims area of the American River Canyon near Foresthill.
Jim McCullum showed CBS13 just how close his Foresthill home came to being eaten up this past summer by the fire. McCullum got emotional just thinking about the ordeal.
“I was glad they had somebody,” he said.
For those affected, they’re confident that investigators were right the first time.
“I think it’s sending the wrong message to other people that think they can get away with it,” said one woman.
However, others aren’t certain.
“I’ll tell you what, leave it up to the courts and the justice system, and let them do it,” one man said.
The district attorney’s office issued this statement:
“The district attorney’s office disagrees with the judges ruling and remains committed to seeking justice for all the victims of the Robbers fire.”
The district attorney could re-file charges against Mason.
“If they go after him again, I hope they make it stick — if he’s the guy that did it.”
The court has set an April 2nd date for further proceedings in the case.