Arson suspected in 6 Klamath Falls fires

Klamath Falls, Ore. – A Cave Junction man is in the Klamath County jail on arson charges.

Crews were called to put out several fires on Old Fort Road north of Klamath Falls just before 7:30 Thursday evening.

“The reporting party down the road with the other land owners had seen a fire, so she called it in.”  Said neighbor John Pellissier.  “And I just stopped by to help out until the fire department showed up.”

Toni Brimmer of Klamath County Fire District #1 says investigators believe that the fires were started on purpose…

“As our crews responded, they encountered multiple fires and a suspicious person walking up that may have been setting fires – the person was detained by O.S.P. at that time.”

Two witnesses identified the man as 33 year old Johnathan David Vigil of Cave Junction.

Vigil is charged with first-degree arson, reckless burning, and disorderly conduct.

Fire crews were able to hold each of the fires to less than a tenth of an acre.

“We have six confirmed, all fires are under control.”  Noted Toni Brimmer.  “We’re continuing to mop up on a fire that did get into the trees, and a large slash pile.”

There were no reports of any injuries, or structures damaged as a result of the fires.

Oregon State Police reports say that vigil was in possession of 2 Bic lighters, and a knife with a flint fire starter.

Police say Vigil also had singed hair on his face at the time of his arrest.

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