Former California professor indicted on arson costs in 4 wildfires

A former California professor accused of setting a group of wildfires near the place the large Dixie Hearth was burning this yr was indicted Thursday on federal prices, prosecutors talked about.

Gary Stephen Maynard, 47, of San Jose, was indicted on 4 counts of arson to federal property and one rely of setting timber afire, U.S. Authorized skilled’s Office for the Jap District of California talked about.

He is not accused of setting the Dixie Hearth, nonetheless is accused of setting 4 fires in July and August throughout the neighborhood the place firefighters have been battling it.

Two of the fires, which have been caught shortly, have been set behind fireplace strains the place crews have been stopping the Dixie Hearth and can have trapped them, prosecutors have talked about.

A public defender listed as representing Maynard did not immediately return a request for comment late Thursday.

The Dixie Hearth jumps Freeway 89 in Plumas County, Calif. in August 2021.Noah Berger / AP, file

Court docket docket paperwork do not appear to component a motive. Maynard, who was arrested in August, denied setting any fires to investigators, consistent with paperwork.

Maynard has, at events, been an adjunct school member and part-time lecturer Santa Clara School and Sonoma State School, nonetheless not simply these days, the universities have talked about.

On the time of the arsons, he was residing in his automotive, consistent with courtroom docket paperwork.

He faces as a lot as 20 years in jail on each rely of arson, the U.S. Authorized skilled’s Office talked about.

The Dixie Hearth would flip into the second largest in recorded state historic previous, burning better than 963,000 acres. The fireside started on July 13 and was completely contained on Oct. 25, consistent with fireplace officers. The set off is beneath investigation.