Suspected arsonist sparks four fires in Salinas

Later afternoon on Monday, Salinas police arrested a man they believed to have sparked four fires off East Laurel Drive, near the Vietnam Memorial. Salinas firefighters responded to a fire burning next to the Salinas soccer complex. Battalion Chief Doug Dirksen said he knew the fires were man-made since they weren’t right next to each other and eyewitnesses told him. “They all had some sort of terrain feature that separated them, including a road. So these things don’t typically happen like this. And we have a pretty mild day today. High humidity, cool wind. So it was pretty unusual. Luckily he didn’t leave the area. So we were able to give a good description to some of these police officers,” Dirksen said.Dirksen points out that thankfully the grass was short, keeping the fire from spreading far. Five engines responded and crews did get a handle on the fires quickly. “It was just getting ahead of it because one of our concerns about fires like this are embers floating off into buildings or neighborhoods,” Dirksen said. Between all four fires, three acres burned and no word from police on the charges the suspect may be facing.

Later afternoon on Monday, Salinas police arrested a man they believed to have sparked four fires off East Laurel Drive, near the Vietnam Memorial.

Salinas firefighters responded to a fire burning next to the Salinas soccer complex. Battalion Chief Doug Dirksen said he knew the fires were man-made since they weren’t right next to each other and eyewitnesses told him.

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“They all had some sort of terrain feature that separated them, including a road. So these things don’t typically happen like this. And we have a pretty mild day today. High humidity, cool wind. So it was pretty unusual. Luckily he didn’t leave the area. So we were able to give a good description to some of these police officers,” Dirksen said.

Dirksen points out that thankfully the grass was short, keeping the fire from spreading far. Five engines responded and crews did get a handle on the fires quickly. “It was just getting ahead of it because one of our concerns about fires like this are embers floating off into buildings or neighborhoods,” Dirksen said.

Between all four fires, three acres burned and no word from police on the charges the suspect may be facing.

Contributed by local news sources

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