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article imageWeed man charged with starting Northern California wildfire

By Nathan Salant     Oct 14, 2014 in Environment
Weed - A 24-year-old Northern California man was arrested and charged Saturday with starting the Boles fire that burned through the tiny lumber town of Weed, destroying more than 150 homes.
Ronald Beau Marshall was charged with numerous felony arson counts and booked into Siskiyou County Jail after a three-week investigation by Weed police and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
“We’re very pleased with the outcome and our inspectors did a very good job,” CalFire spokesman Scott McLean told the newspaper.
The Boles fire began Sept. 15 and burned into the small city before firefighters had a chance to respond, the newspaper said.
The 516-acre blaze started in dry grass near Boles Creek, just east of town, and ended up destroying 157 homes, eight businesses and forcing more than 4,000 people to evacuate.
But the fire did not seriously damage major buildings along Weed's main street or at its saw mill, Roseburg Forest Products, on Mill Street.
Evacuation orders have been lifted.
Marshall is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail at Siskiyou County Jail in Yreka, Sgt. Justin Mayberry of the Weed Police Dept. told the newspaper.
Forestry's McLean said he was pleased at how quickly the Boles fire investigation unfolded and resulted in an arrest.
"This one actually came to pass relatively quickly," he said. "[Three weeks] is a pretty short period of time.”
Marshall had been a person of interest since the beginning of the investigation, the newspaper said.
Mayberry told the newspaper that the investigation would be continuing, but declined to provide any further information about what authorities were looking for.
While the Boles fire is 100 percent contained, it has not been fully extinguished, and officials are warning of high fire danger in Siskiyou and neighboring Modoc counties due to strong winds continuing low humidity, CalFire said Tuesday.
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