Suspect Arraigned in King Fire (CA)

As fire officials began to confirm the first loss of homes and structures in the King fire, the man accused of setting the massive fire appeared in court for the first time and entered a not-guilty plea, reports The Sacramento Bee.

Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, did not speak during the brief arraignment before Judge Gary Hahn in El Dorado Superior Court, and the next hearing was set for Oct. 28.

District Attorney Vern Pierson said afterward that additional charges may be filed “in the very near future” depending on the number of homes that have been destroyed. “There are enhancements when there are more than five inhabited structures,” Pierson said. “At this point, we have not definitely confirmed that’s actually happened.”

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials have been saying since the fire began one week ago that they had no reports of structures being destroyed, but by Friday the remains of at least four homes could be seen on White Meadows Road in Pollock Pines, and fire officials conceded that some structures had been lost.

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