Ohio man accused of setting seven wildfires in California


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A college professor accused of setting a series of wildfires in California has ties to central Ohio.

Gary Maynard, 47, was arrested Saturday in Sacramento, California. He is suspected of setting seven fires, between July 6 and Aug. 7, near the Lassen National Forest and Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Gary Maynard

Maynard is believed to have taught at Santa Clara University and Sonoma State University. According to his bio from Sonoma State, which has since been removed from the university’s website, Maynard is from Columbus and graduated from Bowling Green State University.

Franklin County court records show that Maynard lived in Bexley as recently as 2015, when he was accused of domestic violence.

In California, investigators tracked Maynard’s phone and car to determine his location.

“Agents had installed a tracker on his vehicle,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Anderson wrote in a memo. “Where Maynard went, fires started. Not just once, but over and over again.”

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