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Southern Oregonians detained a man accused of trying to set fires by tieing him to a tree. Reportedly, the firebug lit matches and tossed them into parched vegetation as temperatures soared.
People living in West Coast states have reason to be wary after years of climate-crisis-induced drought. Extreme heatwaves dry the already wilting vegetation, thereby increasing the fire risk.
The Curry County Sheriff John Ward told reporters that they responded to a radio call from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management about a white male adult walking along the gravel road about 25 miles northwest of Grants Pass. He was starting fires.
Local patrols and the Southwest Oregon Department of Forestry were alerted. The sheriff’s office asked for assistance locating the suspect and extinguishing the fires. Firefighters and volunteers quickly got the two fires under control.
Three residents found the suspect walking near the fires. They detained him until officers arrived. Because he was combative, they had to tie him to a tree to subdue him.
The suspect was transported to Three Rivers Hospital in Grants Pass to be medically cleared.
Trennon Smith, 33, is charged with two counts of first-degree arson and one count of reckless burning. A $100,000 bond was set.
— Dr. Common Sense (@Aviation_Oregon) July 27, 2022
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
That Oregon Life: Man Starting Fires in Oregon Gets Tied to Tree by Locals; by Tyler Willford
The Washington Post: Locals help police capture Oregon arson suspect by tying him to tree; by Adela Suliman
People: Oregon Residents Arrest Man Accused of Starting Wildfires by Tying Him to Tree Until Cops Arrive; by Giovana Gelhoren
Oregon Live: Weather
Department of Ecology State of Washington: Climate change increases wildfire risk