Local News

Alleged Serial Arsonist Accused of Starting Mill Fire, Several Others

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KTLA) — A man described by officials as a serial arsonist Wednesday has been accused of setting multiple fires in the Inland Empire.

Steven Taylor Rutherford, 47, was charged on suspicion of intentionally setting nine fires from 2011 to 2013 in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, including the Mill Fire set June 28.

Rutherford was arrested the same day the Mill Fire began to burn near Yucaipa.

He was caught on surveillance cameras and GPS trackers, Riverside District Attorney Paul Zellerbach said.

Rutherford was charged with 13 felony counts of arson and was facing a maximum potential sentence in excess of 80 years, Zellerbach said.

Rutherford served one year in jail more than 20 years ago for arson.

He was being held on $5 million bail.

Authorities said anyone caught trying to light a fire would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

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