POLLOCK PINES, El Dorado County (CBS SF) — A man has been arrested on suspicion of intentionally starting the out-of-control wildfire east of Sacramento that has burned more than 100 square miles and forced close to 3,000 people from their homes.

At a news briefing, authorities identified the arson suspect as 37-year-old Wayne Allen Huntsman.

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A criminal complaint filed by the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office alleges Huntsman “willfully and maliciously set fire to and burn, and caused to be burned forest land.”

“The Superior Court judge, here in El Dorado County, signed an arrest warrant for this person and set bail for $10 million. Later yesterday, he was taken into custody an booked into the El Dorado County jail, This morning we filed a criminal complaint,” El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson said the news briefing on Thursday.

According to the complaint, Huntsman has prior convictions in Santa Cruz County.

The King wildfire is threatening about 12,ooo homes near the El Dorado County town of Pollock Pines and was being fueled Thursday by gusty winds and dry conditions exacerbated by the state’s drought.

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The fire is only about five percent contained and has more than doubled in size since Wednesday afternoon.



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