EL DORADO COUNTY-
Investigators have arrested a man who is suspected of “willfully” starting the massive King Fire.
Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, was arrested late Wednesday and was booked into El Dorado County Jail, where he is being held on $10 million bail.
Huntsman is said to have an extensive criminal background, including charges of assault with a deadly weapon, petty theft, vehicle theft and buying or receiving stolen property.
As of Thursday morning, the King Fire had spread 70,994 acres.
According to Cal Fire Amador-El Dorado Unit Chief Mike Kaslin, the fire exploded in size overnight into Thursday, spreading 15 miles.
Kaslin added that 12,000 homes are threatened and 3,000 people were evacuated. Four-thousand firefighters are battling the blaze.
The fight has a daily price tag of $5 million, according to El Dorado National Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree.
Kaslin says as other, smaller wildfires in the state wrap up, resources can be diverted to the two largest – the King Fire and the Happy Camp Complex Fire.