The U.S. Forest Service started receiving calls about fires occurring in remote sections of the woods of southwest Oregon. These areas were accessible only via roads or rivers owned by the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service.
Witnesses said they saw a single man walking on a gravel road lighting fires.
A man suspected of starting two wildfires in rural Oregon has been arrested with the help of three local residents who tied him to a tree.
The citizen’s arrest happened on Monday afternoon, after Trennon Smith allegedly started igniting fires while he walked along a gravel road. pic.twitter.com/cJ9NcPbaom
— Talk Radio 107.7 FM (@TalkRadio1077) July 27, 2022
The fires were dealt with by ground and helicopter teams. Three local residents found Trennon Smith, 30, of Veneta (Oregon).
Smith got into a fight with the three men, who then tied him to a tree so he could wait for the police. Smith was taken to the hospital for an injury sustained when he fell down. Smith is facing two counts of arson first-degree and one count of reckless burning. He is currently being held on a $100,000 bond.
A few Twitter users began to ask Smith if he was part of Antifa, a non-binary, gender-free street gang.
Happy to see local citizens stepping up to stop lawlessness. @MrAndyNgo Andy, is this guy: 30-year-old Trennon Smith of Veneta, OR on any #Antifa lists that you’ve come across? pic.twitter.com/yWsh5O0hv0
— Johnny (@kadafrogga) July 28, 2022
Searching Smith’s Facebook profile led to no indication that he was involved with Antifa.
Antifa members were charged with starting forest fires in 2020. Law enforcement has “debunked” the accusations.
Sheriff John Ward said that the disaster was stopped by the quick actions of emergency personnel and local residents.
“The collaboration and partnership among all agencies when such an event occurs is amazing. Ward stated that the quick actions taken to put out the flames saved many lives and prevented a disaster”.
Ward stated to AP News that if the fires hadn’t been contained or if they were out of control, it could have prevented residents and visitors from escaping.