fires

Garrett Frey/CalFire

A man has been arrested for arson for starting two small fires that joined and erupted into the fatal Clover Fire in Northern California in September.

Zane Wallace Peterson was arrested Tuesday on several charges, including suspicion of murder, arson on forest lands, and arson causing great bodily injury, according to Scott McLean, a fire captain with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

Oregon's last fire season was the most costly in history, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Department official Dan Postrel says the department spent $122 Million fighting fires that scorched more than 100,000 acres-more than 156 square miles. That is the most in 60 years.

Charred forests left behind by wildfires make the mountain snowpack melt faster, according to a new study.Western rivers depend on the snowpack.

Study author, OSU doctoral student Kelly Gleason, says they found more snow fell in burned forests than in green ones. But the snow melted off twice as fast in burned forests, and was gone 23 days earlier. The reason was the black bits sloughing off the charred trees onto the snow intensified the heat from the sun.

Eighty percent of forest fires are in the snow zone.

One week after the Clover Fire tore a 12.6 square-mile swath of destruction near Redding killed one man, fire investigators have yet to determine what caused the blaze.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials say that the cause of the fire is still under investigation, and confirm that rumors of arson have been circulating.

The fire destroyed 68 homes and 128 outbuildings and damaged another 15 buildings.