Father, son charged with starting huge California forest fire
The Caldor Fire burning the forest at Twin Bridges, California, September 1 2021 (AFP)

A father and son have been arrested on charges of starting a huge forest fire that burned more than 200,000 acres in northern California this summer, local officials said.

David Smith, 66, and Travis Smith, 32, were charged with starting a fire which led to the conflagration known as the Caldor Fire on August 14 near Lake Tahoe, a densely forested area popular with tourists.

It took firefighters 67 days to bring the fire under control, during which time five people were injured and 1,000 residential or commercial buildings were destroyed, according to the California fire department.

The El Dorado County District Attorney's Office said in a statement the two men were charged with reckless arson and were under arrest.

The Caldor Fire prompted the evacuation of several dozen people in this region on the border with Nevada, located near the largest alpine lake in North America .