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Former Firefighter Arrested over Deadly California Wildfire

In an interesting turn of events, a former firefighter has been arrested over the deadly Northern California wildfire that killed one person and destroyed hundreds of structures, a state fire official said Wednesday.

Clover Wildfire killed 1 and ruined over 100 buildings. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Clover Wildfire killed 1 and destroyed over 100 buildings.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Zane Wallace Peterson, 29, of Happy Valley was arrested Tuesday for allegedly starting two fires that turned into the massive Clover Fire in Shasta County, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Capt. Scott McLean said per sfgate.com.

McLean also said Peterson’s arrest came after three months of investigation.  Peterson has also been accused of starting six other fires since September. He faces hundreds of charges related to the fires including arson of inhabited dwellings and arson causing great bodily inury. He is being held without bail in the Shasta County Jail.

“This is still an ongoing case. There’s still more work to be done on our part to make sure this comes to a positive conclusion,” McLean said Wednesday.

“This is a significant arson arrest for CAL FIRE, Shasta County, and the residents who endured the Clover Fire and suffered losses. The tragic loss of life and so many homes at the hands of an intentional fire is a heinous act,” Doug Wenham, a CalFire regional chief, said Tuesday.

The fire that started in early September has been blamed in the death of Brian Stanley Henry, 56, whose body was found inside a motor home destroyed by the flames in the community of Igo. The Clover Fire charred approximately 13 square miles, destroying 68 homes and 128 other structures.

“If convicted, Peterson faces a 25 years-to-life sentence for the murder charge, and 90 years for the arson charge,” Shasta County Senior Deputy District Attorny Ben Hanna said.

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