Homeless Man Charged with Starting Two Fires

Steven Emory Butcher, 48, a homeless man, was ordered held without bail on charges of starting two forest fires, including last year’s Day Fire, which consumed 162,000 acres of backcountry brush, most of which lay within the Los Padres National Forest. The Day Fire cost $78 million to extinguish. Butcher was also accused of starting the Ellis Fire, near Piru Canyon, which consumed 70 acres. Forest Service officials do not contend that either of these fires was set intentionally, just carelessly.

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