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Man accused of starting California wildfire

July 14, 2014

REDDING, California (AP) — Authorities believe a wildfire in Northern California was sparked by the exhaust from a truck driven by a man delivering supplies to an illegal marijuana plot.

Freddie Alexander Smoke III, 27, was arrested Saturday for investigation of recklessly causing a fire and illegally cultivating marijuana, according to the California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection.

The fire has burned 6 square miles (15 square kilometers) of forested land and destroyed destroyed 18 structures, CalFire officials said. The fire, burning in steep terrain, was just 15 percent contained Sunday morning.

More than 1,700 firefighters, aided by aircraft, battled the blaze in hot, dry conditions.

The wildfire had prompted evacuations and road closures, but CalFire said all residents have been allowed to return home.

Still, the fire is threatening 15 homes and about 50 other structures.

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