Caldor Fire suspects pretrial rescheduled for October

Odin Rasco / The Mountain Democrat

The two men accused of igniting the Caldor Fire have had their pretrial date rescheduled to Oct. 6, according to court documents.

The pretrial for David Scott Smith of Somerset and his son Travis Shane Smith, a Folsom resident, is anticipated to last two days and will take place in El Dorado County Superior Court Department 1. The preliminary hearing is intended to be a review of the charges and available evidence, and the findings will determine if the case heads to trial. The preliminary hearing was originally scheduled to begin Aug. 22, but the date was rescheduled by lawyers.

The Smiths stand accused of multiple counts of reckless arson that caused the Caldor Fire, the 2021 wildfire that ultimately burned 221,835 acres of forest land, personal property and structures, including the town of Grizzly Flat. The Smiths were initially identified as the suspects by the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office in 2021. 

Arson charges against the pair are subject to an enhancement due to the extent of structure damage and multiple severe injuries caused by the fire. The two are additionally facing a felony charge for possession of a supressor for firearms between Aug. 11 and Sept. 23, 2021. Travis also faces a felony charge for allegedly intentionally and illegally converting a firearm to a machine gun or manufacturing a machine gun some time between Aug. 9 and Aug. 14, 2021.

Both men entered not guilty pleas to all counts at their arraignment in December 2021. The father and son are currently out on bond; their initial bails had been set at $1 million each but were lowered to $25,000 for David and $50,000 for Travis in late December 2021.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.