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Northern California College Professor Accused Of Starting Arson Fires

A Northern California college professor is accused of starting a series of arson fires in remote forested areas of Northern California near the massive Dixie Fire.

Gary Stephen Maynard was arrested Saturday following an investigation that began on July 20th. Maynard, is believed to have worked at a number of colleges in California, including Santa Clara University and Sonoma State University, where he is listed as a lecturer in criminal justice studies specializing in criminal justice, cults and deviant behavior. A federal criminal complaint shows that U.S. Forest Agents started investigating Maynard on July 20, the same day as the Cascade Fire. Investigators eventually placed a tracking device on his car after a witness at the fire claims they saw Maynard come from the area where the fire sparked.

According to court records, Maynard was living out of his car and traveling alone across a large section of Northern California. Authorities are looking into multiple other fires that occurred during July and August to see if Maynard is connected.

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