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California man charged with 9 arson fires since 2011

A Southern California man is being charged with setting nine arson fires since 2011 that burned a total of 670 acres in Riverside and San Bernardino counties east of Los Angeles.

Riverside County District Attorney spokesman John Hall says 47-year-old Steven Taylor Rutherford of Banning was charged Wednesday with 13 felony counts of arson and is expected in court later in the day.

Rutherford was arrested June 28 after a wildfire near Mentone that burned 534 acres and damaged four properties, including two homes.

Hall says fire officials tracked Rutherford over a lengthy investigation using surveillance video from businesses and GPS tracking devices placed on his vehicles.

Rutherford is charged with fires dating back to Sept. 6, 2011.

Most were extinguished at less than 50 acres with limited damages.

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