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Foresthill wildfire suspect facing arson charges

2:04 PM, Jul 24, 2012   |    comments
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  • Bryon Craig Mason

AUBURN, CA - The Sacramento man accused of starting a 2,650-acre wildfire near Foresthill nearly two weeks ago was charged with arson in a Placer County courtroom Tuesday.

Bryon Craig Mason, 28, was arrested last Friday for recklessly causing a fire with a pyrotechnic device, CalFire said.

However, the charge against Mason was later upgraded to arson after the Placer County District Attorney's Office reviewed the case. The charges include one count of arson causing great bodily injury and one count of arson for a structure or property, both felonies.

In addition, Mason is accused of three enhancements: causing great bodily injury to an emergency responder; causing injury to more than one person and causing more than one structure to burn.

"It's not easy, it's very hard," said Mason's mother after the court appearance. "(Bryon's) wife and I and the rest of the family are standing by him."

Mason pled not guilty. His bail was set at $500,000.

The fire, which burned in a canyon about three miles northwest of Foresthill and southeast of Colfax, forced the evacuation of 170 homes. One residence was destroyed and several other structures burned. Twelve firefighters suffered injuries.

CalFire put the cost of fighting the 9-day fire at $13 million. More than 2,200 firefighting personnel were assigned to the blaze.

















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