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Former firefighter charged with murder in Clover Fire

By Nate Hauser
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:46:30 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 18 2013 11:40:21 AM CST

Zane Wallace Peterson

REDDING, Calif. -

Arson has been ruled as the cause of the Clover Fire according to a press release issued Tuesday by CAL FIRE.

Zane Wallace Peterson, 29, of Happy Valley was taken into custody Tuesday morning by CAL FIRE law enforcement officers. He faces more than 200 counts of arson.

The Shasta County District Attorney's office has added the charge of murder.

According to Senior Deputy District Attorney Ben Hanna, Peterson is a former firefighter who worked in the Northstate.

Hanna could not confirm what agency Peterson had worked for or in what capacity he was employed.

The US Forest Service said that Peterson was employed by their agency in the Mendocino National Forest but no longer works for them.

Peterson was booked into the Shasta County Jail.

He faces the following charges:

• Murder, 1 count
• Arson of a Structure or Vegetation, 140 counts
• Arson that causes great bodily injury, 1 count
• Arson to Occupied Structures, 60 counts.
• Arson with Aggravating Factors, 2 counts
• Arson using Incendiary Device, 5 counts

As of Wednesday morning, 71 felony counts had been filed with the Shasta County Superior Court (the murder charge and 70 counts of arson) along with three enhancements.

The Clover Fire started Sept. 9 in Igo, Calif., 10 miles southwest of Redding.

The fire burned 8,073 acres and claimed the life of 56-year-old Brian Henry.

More than 1500 firefighters from across California fought the blaze that destroyed 68 homes and raged for a full week.

Peterson is being held without bail.