REDDING — Prosecutors in Northern California have filed involuntary manslaughter charges against a man suspected of starting a wildfire that left one person dead.
Thirty-seven-year-old Freddie Alexander Smoke III, of Sacramento, was already facing charges of marijuana cultivation and accidentally starting a fire in connection with this month’s Bully Fire near the community of Igo. The Shasta County District Attorney’s Office said Monday it’s now seeking his arrest on the manslaughter charge.
Smoke is accused of starting the fire while delivering supplies to an illegal marijuana grow. Authorities believe the exhaust from his rental truck sparked the blaze.
The fire scorched nearly 20 square miles before it was contained. Smoke posted bail on his original charges before the remains of 38-year-old Jesus Arellano Garcia were found in the fire’s path.
Officials tell the Record Searchlight of Redding that Smoke has ties to Redding, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Indiana and Illinois.