Former ex­plorer charged in fires

Los Angeles Times - - CITY & STATE - By Joseph Serna joseph.serna @la­times.com Twit­ter: @JosephSerna

A former fire ex­plorer is sus­pected of be­ing a se­rial ar­son­ist re­spon­si­ble for eight wild­fires in the San Bernardino Moun­tains over the last two months, pros­e­cu­tors said Monday.

Jar­rod Samra, 23, of Yu­caipa was ar­rested Thurs­day af­ter deputies re­spond­ing to a brush fire off High­way 38 stopped his ve­hi­cle and in­ves­ti­gated.

Af­ter he was in cus­tody, de­tec­tives linked him to eight blazes over­all that burned more than 900 acres and in­jured one fire­fighter. In­cluded in the num­ber is the Bryant fire II, which had burned 325 acres through Monday morn­ing, of­fi­cials said at a news con­fer­ence. The Bryant fire II is burn­ing in Yu­caipa and is 85% con­tained, the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Forestry and Fire Pro­tec­tion said.

“This ar­son­ist will be held ac­count­able to the fullest ex­tent of the law,” San Bernardino County Dist. Atty. Michael Ramos said in a state­ment. “The his­tory of fires in our county and the de­struc­tion they have caused to hu­man life and prop­erty is ab­so­lutely tragic. Thank­fully, through the in­ves­tiga­tive work of our law en­force­ment and pub­lic safety part­ners, we were able to stop this in­di­vid­ual, and pre­vent any fu­ture de­struc­tion or po­ten­tial loss of life.”

Samra is ac­cused of start­ing eight blazes:

The Bryant fire I on July 7, which burned 76 acres.

The Hid­den fire on July 12, which burned 43 acres and in­jured one fire­fighter.

The Bridge fire on July 14, which burned 460 acres.

The Pied­mont fire on July 16, which burned oneeighth of an acre.

The Seine fire on July 22, which burned 25 acres.

The Trout fire on July 28, which was con­sid­ered a “spot fire.”

The He­len fire on July 28, which was con­sid­ered a “spot fire.”

The Bryant fire II on Aug. 3, which so far has burned 325 acres.

Samra was charged with one count of ar­son caus­ing great bod­ily in­jury and eight counts of ar­son of a struc­ture of for­est.

If con­victed on all charges, he faces up to 19 years in prison.

San Bernardino County D.A.’s of­fice

JAR­ROD SAMRA, 23, is ac­cused of start­ing eight wild­fires.

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