REDDING, Calif. - The man believed to have started the Bully Fire on July 11, 2014 was arrested in Indiana Tuesday morning.
Freddie Alexander Smoke III, 39 of East Chicago, allegedly started the Bully Fire on July 11, 2014. The fire killed one man and burned 12,661 acres near the community of Ono in Shasta County. Officers believe that Smoke was operating a large rental truck to deliver soil at an illegal marijuana cultivation site in the area when the fire started.
The Shasta county District Attorney's office filed additional felony charges against Smoke, including involuntary manslaughter for the death of Jesus Arellano Garcia, 35 of Michoacán, Mexico. Garcia was discovered within the fire's perimeter on July 16, 2014. Smoke had been arrested but was released after posting his $10,000 bail, and failed to appear in court to face these additional charges.
On Tuesday Hammond, Indiana Police Department SWAT team members along with other law enforcement officers arrested Smoke in East Chicago. CAL FIRE law enforcement officers, with multiple cooperating agencies, have been actively pursuing leads regarding Smoke’s whereabouts for two years.
“I’m proud of CAL FIRE’s law enforcement officers and all of the agencies involved, they have done an outstanding job”, said Chief Mike Hebrard, CAL FIRE Unit Chief and Shasta County Fire Warden.
Freddie Alexander Smoke III awaits extradition to Shasta County. Additional information regarding this ongoing criminal matter will be handled by the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office.