Gary Maynard, 47, was arrested on Saturday. He is charged with setting fire to public land.READ MORE: Home Alone: Helping Pandemic Pets Cope When Their Owners Return To Work
He is accused of setting the Ranch Fire in Lassen County, as well.
The Dixie Fire has grown roughly 5000 acres since Monday night, and has burned more than 490,000 acres. It is 27 percent contained.
The suspect also has ties to Santa Clara University and once lived in San Jose. He is currently at the Sacramento Main Jail and is being held without bail.
A federal criminal complaint shows that U.S. Forest Agents started investigating Maynard on July 20, the same day as the Cascade Fire. Investigators eventually placed a tracking device on his car after a witness at the fire claims they saw Maynard come from the area where the fire sparked.READ MORE: Neighbors Creating Holiday Magic On Candy Cane Lane In Pleasanton Since 1953
“Witness 1 believed the man was mentally unstable, describing the man as, ‘mumbling a lot and having bipolar-like behavior,’” the court documents detailed.
During the investigation into the Cascade Fire, authorities found evidence of additional fires.
“The two small ground fires were each determined to be acts of arson and, indeed, classified as two additional arson fires,” wrote one investigator.
Tracking equipment showed Maynard in the area where the Ranch Fire was ignited. Tire tracks also matched his car.
Investigators claim Maynard set the fire but are unaware of what he used to start it.MORE NEWS: As Oakland Lawmakers Prepare To Vote To Increase Police Staffing New Report Questions Need
According to court records, Maynard was living out of his car and traveling alone across a large section of Northern California.