A man believed to be connected with wildfires burning in a remote southwestern Oregon forest Monday was tied to a tree by the citizens who caught him, officials said.
According to officials at the Curry County Sheriff’s Office, the fires were reported early Monday afternoon near a lodge and a ranch in the town of Marial. An employee of the Bureau of Land Management reported seeing a man walking along a gravel road that leads to the area and believed he was starting fires.
Officials said that federal, state and local agencies, as well as residents of the area, responded to help extinguish the two fires that had been found.
While that was happening, three residents found the arson suspect walking on the road near the fires and detained him, according to officials. Investigators said that the man became combative, and the residents had to tie him to a tree to subdue him until law enforcement arrived.
The man, identified as 30-year-old Trennon Smith, of Veneta, Oregon, was taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries suffered during a fall. He was later booked into the Curry County Jail on two counts of first-degree arson and reckless burning.
According to officials, the fires burned only an acre of the forest.
Officials said that the blazes would have cut people off from their escape route if they had not been quickly contained.