|Location||Pollock Pines, California|
|Date(s)||September 13, 2014– October 31, 2014|
|Burned area||97,717 acres (395 km2)|
The King Fire was a wildfire that scorched over 97,000 acres (390 km2) of land in El Dorado County, California in the fall of 2014. The fire, which was named because it started off King of the Mountain Road in Pollock Pines, started on September 13, 2014, near Pollock Pines, California, to the east of Sacramento.
On September 16, three days after starting, the fire had spread to 11,520 acres (46.6 km2) forcing the evacuation of over five hundred homes. A handcrew of ten inmates and a Fire Captain were saved from being overrun when they were led to safety by a helicopter that was staged at the nearby Swansboro Country Airport. By September 18, the fire had expanded to 73,184 acres (296.17 km2), becoming the second largest wildfire of the 2014 California wildfire season. As a result of this growth, the mandatory evacuation order was expanded to 20,000 homes.
By the start of October the fire had grown to 97,099 acres (392.95 km2) with containment increasing to 94%. On October 9, the perimeter of the King Fire was reported to be 100% contained, with a final acreage of 97,717 acres (395.45 km2). During the following days, pockets of fire continued burning deep inside the containment lines.
On October 10, the closure area was reduced, as additional progress was made. During the next several days, the wildfire was diminished further, as the weather in the region entered a cooling trend. The King Fire injured a total of twelve people and caused the evacuation of nearly 3,000 people in the area. It destroyed 12 singles residences and 68 other residential structures, but the amount of damage caused by the wildfire remains unknown.
On September 18, 2014, Wayne Huntsman was arrested on suspicion of intentionally starting the fire. He initially pled not guilty to the charges, but in April 2016 pled guilty to arson. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay $60 million in restitution.
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- York, Jessica A. (September 19, 2014). "King Fire arson suspect is former Santa Cruz man". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Retrieved February 17, 2023 – via Mercury News.
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- "Wayne Allen Huntsman Sentenced to 20 Years For Setting King Fire". CBS News Sacramento. April 8, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2023.