Walnut Creek fires may have been set intentionally

Investigators believe that three recent brush fires near Arbolado Park in Walnut Creek were set on purpose.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Fire investigators in Walnut Creek think someone is setting fires on purpose. Three have been set so far, all of them near Arbolado Park. Authorities are now asking the public for help by reporting any suspicious activity.

When investigators combed through the remains of a recent brush fire, they found no clues. Still, they are sure the three brush fires in Arbolado Park were intentionally set.

"We haven't found fireworks or cigarette butts or anything like that in the area," said Contra Costa County Fire Marshal Robert Marshall. "Which lead us to believe it's what we call a hot start, which is somebody taking a match or a lighter directly to the material and lighting it on fire."

Marshall said the three brush fires were within a short distance of each other. The first one occurred on May 6, the second one happened this past weekend, and a third one Wednesday started in the afternoon but was quickly put out.

Investigators think they know who may be starting them.

"We had a witness who saw kids leaving the area and then the fire shortly after that," Marshall said. "So we think it is someone in the neighborhood doing it."

Nearby residents are concerned because of all the homes surrounding the park.

"It is so dry up there that it can spread," Walnut Creek resident Patty Pison said. "And if it spreads, it can wipe out a whole neighborhood."

Fellow Walnut Creek resident Margaret Walker adds, "It is scary, it is. With the heat and the water shortage, it's not good."

The high temperatures, dry winds, and low humidity could help fuel any fire here.

So far, no firefighters have been sent to the wildfires burning in San Diego County.

If they are asked to go, it would leave this area vulnerable.
Related Topics:
news brush fire fire arson crime Walnut Creek
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