Man arrested on arson charges in connection to Grass Valley fire (VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY) |

Man arrested on arson charges in connection to Grass Valley fire (VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY)

A Grass Valley man faces an arson charge in connection with the Saturday afternoon fire near Empire Mine State Park, authorities said.

Officers spotted David Holm, 52, walking from the fire near South Auburn and Whiting streets. Police arrested Holm, who has burns to his lower legs, after talking to him and others, a release states.

“The investigation is ongoing, but at this point, it appears that the fire started in a wooded area where Holm was camping and was possibly caused by a cigarette,” authorities state.

Holm was taken to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment. His condition is unknown.

The blaze, first reported around 1:30 p.m., had reached between 30 and 40 acres by 6:10 p.m. Firefighters had stopped its forward progression by that time, though it wasn’t yet under control, officials said.

Officials said no one was hurt. They had no information about possible damage to nearby buildings.

Firefighters are protecting buildings at the park, according to photographer John Hart, who is on the scene of the blaze.

Over 200 personnel responded to the blaze. Several different agencies from within Nevada County and outside it helped fight the fire.

According to Cal Fire, the blaze burned about two acres within Grass Valley. The vast majority of the fire was within Empire Mine.

The blaze caused several spot fires due to burning trees that had been killed by bark beetle infestations.

According to the CHP, the following roads are currently closed or severely impacted by emergency operations:

— South Auburn Street between Empire Street and McKnight Way.

— E. Empire Street from South Auburn Street to Highway 174.

— Adams Avenue.

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