WeatherFire Watch


Man pleads guilty to setting fires in California forest

Fire crews en route to Santa Margarita vegetation fire
Posted at 4:43 PM, May 23, 2022

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A man who set nearly a dozen wildfires in a Northern California national forest has pleaded guilty to being a serial arsonist.

The U.S. attorney's office says Eric Smith of Redding entered guilty pleas Monday to four counts of arson but acknowledged setting other blazes in his plea agreement.

Court documents say that between June 2019 and July 2020, Smith set fires in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

The fires were quickly contained without causing major damage or injuries but one shut down a freeway.

Smith was arrested after authorities investigating wildfires used hidden motion-detection cameras to identify a car and plant a tracking device on it.