Crime - Sacto 911

Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man accused of starting 2012 Robbers fire in Placer County?

Q: In June 2013, a person was arrested for allegedly starting the Robbers Fire. Did the case go to court? If so, what was the verdict?

R. Van, Rocklin

A: Bryon Craig Mason was arrested in July 2012 on suspicion of recklessly causing the Robbers fire, which began the afternoon of July 11 off Yankee Jims Road near the north fork of the American River in Placer County.

In March 2013, following preliminary hearing, a Placer County Superior Court judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to hold Mason to stand trial on two counts of arson as well as enhancements. The Placer County District Attorney’s Office disagreed with the ruling and subsequently presented the case to a grand jury. In June 2013, a grand jury indicted Mason on charges of arson causing great bodily injury and arson of an inhabited dwelling;

According to Placer County Superior Court online records, Mason’s next court date is April 9.

Fire investigators determined that the Robbers fire was started by a pyrotechnic device. Authorities said Mason admitted throwing an illegal firework into a remote swimming hole.

The fire burned 2,650 acres northeast of Foresthill. It destroyed one home and four outbuildings, and threatened 170 residences. A firefighter also was injured. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimated that the cost of fighting the fire exceeded $13 million.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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