Man charged with death in Bully Fire fails to appear in court


REDDING, Calif. - The man accused of starting the Bully Fire did not appear at his court hearing Friday.

37-year-old Freddie Smoke III posted his $10,000 bail back in July but that was before a man was found dead at the fire. Smoke was supposed to be back in court Friday to answer for a much more serious charge of involuntary manslaughter.

He did not show.

Authorities said Smoke started the Bully fire back in July. Smoke allegedly drove a rental truck off-road when he caused the fire.

According to those same investigators, Smoke was heading to an illegal marijuana grow site to deliver soil.

The Bully Fire burned more than 12,000 acres and destroyed 20 buildings in the Igo area.

Friday morning, a Shasta County judge issued a bench warrant for Smoke. His bail is set at $500,000.

Anyone with information on Smoke's whereabouts should contact law enforcement.

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