The U.S. Forest Service began receiving calls about fires in secluded sections of woods in southwest Oregon, including regions accessible only by river or roads owned by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.
Witnesses reported seeing a lone man walking along a gravel road starting 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
Ground and helicopter teams dealt with the fires, and three local residents located a suspect, 30-year-old Trennon Smith of Veneta, Ore.
Smith became combative with the three people, who summarily tied him to a tree to wait for the police. Smith was treated for an injury he allegedly sustained while falling down and then taken to jail. He is being charged with two counts of first-degree arson and one count of reckless burning. He is being held on a $100,000 bond.
A few Twitter peeps began asking if Smith is a member of the non-binary, gender-free street mob, Antifa.
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
A search of the Facebook profile believed to belong to Smith revealed nothing that would lead one to believe Smith is involved in Antifa.
FACT-O-RAMA! Antifa members were accused of starting forest fires in 2020. The accusations were “debunked” by law enforcement.
The quick actions of emergency crews and the local residents stopped what could have been a disaster, according to Sheriff John Ward.
“The cooperation and partnership between all agencies when something like this occurs is remarkable. The quick actions on getting the fires out most certainly averted a catastrophe and saved lives,” Ward announced.
“If the fires had not been contained and if they got out of control, they could have blocked all the residents and visitors from having an escape route,” Ward told AP News.