Woman arrested for allegedly starting fire in Grants Pass

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Police said a transient woman was arrested after losing control of her cooking fire in Grants Pass Tuesday night.

According to the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, on June 12 at about 9:50 p.m. they received a call about a fire burning in blackberry brambles where Booth Street and the railroad tracks intersect.

When firefighter and police arrived at the scene they found a fast-moving, wind-driven fire. Crews were able to put out the fire and prevent any embers from sparking a new one.

A witness told officers there was a woman hiding in nearby bushes. Police found the woman, identified by police as Sherri Matthies.

Investigators said they believe Matthies had been cooking over an open fire when wind caused the fire to escape her control.

GPDPS said Matthies was subsequently arrested and charged with reckless burning and trespassing, as she was on railroad property at the time of the incident.

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