Arson Suspected in Several Small Fires on Santa Rosa Trail

Santa Rosa fire crews extinguished multiple grass fires in southwest Santa Rosa late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, and fire officials suspect arson played a role in all the blazes.

Three small vegetation fires were found burning near the railroad tracks between Hearn and Barham avenues around 11:46 p.m. Saturday, fire officials said.

Not long after, fire crews received a report of more small grass fires burning in the area of Dutton Avenue and West Third Street and the Santa Rosa Creek Trail from Dutton Avenue to Fulton Road, fire officials said. The largest fire was reported to be a quarter-acre.

Paul Lowenthal of the Santa Rosa Fire Department said 13 fires were set over the course of two hours.

"This community as a whole has gone through a lot," Lowenthal said. "The October wildfires are still in the back of everyone’s minds, and given what we’ve experienced, right now this is the last thing anybody needs."

All the fires were extinguished in less than two hours and are currently under investigation.

On Monday, a $2,500 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible.

"I don’t know why someone would do this," Santa Rosa police Officer Marcus Sprague said. "It’s a mystery to me. Get help, come forward. Get the help you need."

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