A man was arrested on Sunday for intentionally setting a brush fire near Interstate 205 in Portland then, just hours after he was released, he was taken into custody again for lighting six more fires, according to Portland police.
Around 4:35 p.m., officers were sent to help Portland Fire & Rescue with a small blaze burning in a section of grass along the freeway near the 9600 block of East Burnside, officials said. The fire was quickly put out and no one was injured.
About an hour later, a witness flagged down officers and told them that a man in a nearby tent had lit the fire. Domingo Lopez Jr., 45, was taken into custody and admitted to setting the fire, police said in a statement. He was found with a plastic bottle with a burnt wick attached, according to police.
He was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of reckless burning and disorderly conduct, but was released.
Around 3:30 a.m. Monday, officers were called to another report of fire in the same general area of Interstate 205. They found several small blazes and firefighters quickly put out several of them while bystanders from the community taking care of the rest.
No one was injured and no structures were damaged.
Lopez was found walking on the shoulder of the freeway a short time later and arrested, police said. He was taken to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation and charged with six more counts of reckless burning.
Despite at least three other arrests for arson around the state in recent weeks, local police departments and the FBI have roundly rejected and debunked rumors of widespread arson in relation to the massive wildfires that have burned in Oregon over the last week.
— Kale Williams; [email protected]; 503-294-4048; @sfkale