US Gary Stephen Maynard: Former college instructor indicted in arson spree during California wildfires
Jerry Brown focuses on saving California forests from fires
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — As smoke lingered in the air amid another destructive California wildfire season, former Gov. Jerry Brown invited a group to his ranch for an urgent conversation: What more could be done to save California's forests from wildfires? The reality of what has become annual fire devastation for the state has become more a part of Brown's life since he built his retirement home on a stretch of land where his great-grandfather settled in the 1850s, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northwest of Sacramento. © Provided by Associated Press FILE — California Gov.
A federal grand jury has indicted a former college instructor on charges in connection to a string of fires set over the summer in Northern California-- the second largest wildfire in the state's history.
Thethat Gary Stephen Maynard, 47, of San Jose, California, set four fires in the Shasta Trinity National Forest and the Lassen National Forest -- the Cascade Fire on July 20, the Everitt Fire on July 21 and the Ranch Fire and Conard Fire which were both set on August 7.
Former California professor indicted on arson charges in 4 wildfires
A former California professor accused of setting a series of wildfires near where the massive Dixie Fire was burning was indicted Thursday on federal charges.Gary Stephen Maynard, 47, of San Jose, was indicted on four counts of arson to federal property and one count of setting timber afire, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California said.
He's charged with four counts of arson to federal property and one count of setting timber afire,.
"Dr. Maynard denies all the charges in the indictment. He will do so formally at a hearing next week," his attorney, Hannah Labaree, told CNN in an email.
The fires were set in the vicinity of the Dixie Fire and some of the fires were set behind the firefighters working to stop that fire, according to prosecutors in the Eastern District of California.
The Dixie Fire started on July 13 andin five counties before it was contained on October 25, .
Maynard was arrested on August 7 and is being held at the Sacramento County Jail. CNN has reached out to his attorney for comment.
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Maynardat Sonoma State University in its Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice during the fall of 2020, a university spokesperson told CNN in August. He taught two seminars on the topics of criminal justice and deviant behavior, according to school officials. Maynard was filling in for a faculty member who was on leave and was not reappointed for Spring 2021, the school spokesperson said.
Maynard was also an adjunct faculty member at Santa Clara University in its sociology department from September 2019 to December 2020, a spokesperson at that school confirmed to CNN.
If convicted, Maynard faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of arson, according to the release.
2020 U.S. Wildfires Burned Over 10 Million Acres, Nearly 18,000 Structures: Report .
"4 million acres—more land than the state of Connecticut—burned last year, forcing families across the U.S. to breathe polluted air," wrote Rep. Katie Porter.Just like last year, wildfires are currently burning throughout the U.S. West and the ultimate damage remains to be seen. Oregon's Bootleg Fire in the state's south is creating mass destruction and is one of the largest that has burned in the state yet, the Associated Press reported. It has scorched a region half the size of Rhode Island.