Earlier today (September 24), officials from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and CalFire held a press conference, outlining some new information regarding the arson arrest connected with the Crafton Fire, which has now burned 347 acres, and is at 60% containment. Just after the fire broke out in the Yucaipa area yesterday afternoon, witnesses noticed a 16-year-old male riding away from the area on his bike; this information led to the arrest of the 16-year-old, who was booked for arson at San Bernardino Juvenile Hall on September 23. Per today’s updated information, as relayed in the press conference, it is believed that the young man is also responsible for another 12 to 14 fires, including the recent Oak Glen and Pendleton Fires. In a statement from Third District County Supervisor Neil Derry this afternoon, he says, “The most effective way to prevent future arson is to quickly capture and arrest the people responsible for these crimes. The witnesses responsible for the capturing of this suspect are to be praised and commended.” As arsonists can be liable for the cost of fire suppression, the 16-year-old may be held accountable, though this is unconfirmed at this time. Adds Supervisor Derry, “Taxpayers do not wish to see their money wasted on fires set by arsonists. Those responsible for these crimes should be held financially liable.” At this time [3pm and 5pm], the Crafton Fire has not burned any homes; Crafton Hills College will hold night classes this evening, and all major roads in the area do remain open, per CalFire.
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