Marin County

Arsonist Might Have Sparked Recent Marin Headlands Fires: Police

A series of recent fires in the Marin Headlands have officials investigating whether or not they have an arsonist on their hands.

Four fires have sparked in the last two months in that area, the latest one being one whose flames destroyed a historic building Wednesday night.

A man was spotted running from the fire which gave investigators more of a reason to look into recent incidents.

Flames devour a historic Fort Barry Rifle Range building in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and a fire in the Marin Headlands destroyed the building and terrified people who live up the road.

"Seeing it so close made me think about getting the kids and the dog grabbing what we could and getting in the car," said Main County resident Sean Dries.

Even with limited water available, nearby crews managed to keep the fire from spreading to nearby dry hillsides.

"There was significant potential for wild land fire if we had winds last night," said Southern Marin Fire Battalion Chief Matt Barnes.

The historic site was surrounded by crime tape because investigators believe someone intentionally set the fire.

A U.S. Park Police officer saw a man leaving the building before it erupted in flames and the man got away.

Southern Marin Fire investigators are eager to find him and see if he is connected to three other recent fires in the park.

"We are actively investigating a number of incidents that have occurred in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area over the last few months," said Barnes.

A small vegetation fire last weekend and a fire inside a historic bunker that spread to the hillside in September are among the fires investigators are looking into.

Word that someone might be setting fires has people in the neighborhood nervous.

"Hopefully not that would be scary hopefully they catch them," said Joyce Silva from Marin County.

Police ask anyone with information about who may have started any of the recent fires in the Marin Headlands, contact the U.S. Park Police.

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