Shasta Fire Suspect To Stand Trial For Arson
A man accused of starting a fire that destroyed 86 homes will stand trial for arson.
William Rupp of Shasta County faces a felony arson charge for allegedly starting the so-called Bear Fire in July.
The 44-year-old has pleaded innocent to that charge, as well as a special enhancement and misdemeanor count.
Authorities say he sparked the 11-thousand-acre blaze by mowing dry weeds on his property in temperatures that topped one-hundred degrees.
Investigators say the fire was ignited when blades from his lawn mower struck rocks.
His attorney said there is no evidence that Rupp acted negligently.
A trial date has been set for March.