Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue officials seek information on fires

Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue officials are asking the public for help gathering information about three suspicious fires last weekend.


All three fires are considered incendiary, but not yet considered arson, Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue spokesman Jeremy Wallen said.

“A person started the fires. That doesn’t mean it is necessarily (malicious),” Wallen said. “We’re still not saying arson ... and we don’t have any evidence to that.”

Wallen did say that a large brush fire started at a log pile near Columbia Road on Saturday. It burned about 40 acres, and the smoke forced the closure of Columbia Road. The property owner and neighbors denied burning near the pile.

A second fire, reported Sunday afternoon on the back side of the Millbranch subdivision off Lewiston Road, burned less than an acre. There was no known accidental cause, such as lightning, Wallen said.

Firefighters were called to a third fire about 3:30 a.m. Monday on William Few Parkway. That fire burned more than 4 acres and came close to several homes.

“It is actually three or four separate fires,” Wallen said, adding that no wind and high humidity following rain kept the fire low and slow.

“It could be that embers did it,” Wallen added. “We can’t rule that out. But it is highly unlikely.”

The department investigator said all three of the fires were set, as opposed to starting accidentally.

Anyone with information about the fires should call the department at (706) 863-7745.



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