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Arrest made in arsons at Henry Cowell State Park

July 14, 2013 2:12:47 PM PDT
State law enforcement officials have made an arrest in connection with three small arson fires that occurred at Henry Cowell State Park in Santa Cruz County on Thursday.

The fires were reported along the San Lorenzo River around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Division Chief Rich Sampson said Saturday.

The fires were suppressed by Cal Fire and Felton Fire District crews within an hour.

Cal Fire and California State Parks law enforcement officers later arrested Osman Chaudhry at Rincon Road and state Highway 9 in Santa Cruz County on suspicion of arson, Sampson said.

Chaudhry has no current address listed.

Ten separate fires have occurred in the same general area over the past six months, with causes ranging from campfire escapes to arson, Sampson said.

All of them were caused by humans, however, and officials are asking the public to be vigilant and report and suspicious fire immediately by calling 911.

Possible arson fires can be reported to the Cal Fire arson hotline at 1 (800) 468-4408. Investigators appreciate details such as license plates and descriptions of suspicious people, and rewards of up to $10,000 are available for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

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