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Ex-college professor charged with setting 4 California wildfires

Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A former college professor in California has been charged with setting four forest fires in the state during this summer's wildfire season.

Gary Stephen Maynard, 47, of San Jose, Calif., was charged in a five-count indictment Thursday by a federal grand jury for his arson spree around the then ongoing Dixie Fire near the Shasta Trinity National Forest and the Lassen National Forest.

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According to the court document, Maynard is accused of starting the Cascade Fire on July 20, the Everett Fire on July 21 and the Ranch Fire and Conrad Fire on Aug. 7.

If convicted, he faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Federal authorities began to investigate Maynard the same day the Cascade Fire ignited, and he was arrested in August.

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