FOUR people have now been arrested on the West Coast for deliberately starting blazes as wildfires rage.
Cops detained two men in Washington, man in Oregon and woman in California as the desperate battle to contain the fires continues.
So far 24 people have been killed though the authorities in Oregon have told residents to brace themselves for a“mass fatality incident”.
Oregon Live reports Michael Jarrod Bakkela, 41, has been arrested on two counts of arson, 15 counts of criminal mischief and 14 counts of reckless endangerment.
The fire Bakkela started is considered to be one of the origins of the Almeda fire and the two quickly merged, said Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office spokesman Rich Tyler.
Photos show the towns of Phoenix and Talent reduced to ashes after the Almeda fire tore through.
It has killed two people, destroyed a thousand homes and laid waste to 5700 acres.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday evening, a Phoenix resident saw a person, who was later identified as Bakkela, lighting a fire behind their house.
Because of the blaze, the residents who saw him set the fire had to flee their home.
State troopers and sheriff’s deputies who arrived saw Bakkela standing close to a large fire that was threatening several homes.null
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Mike Moran told ABC News there is “significant damage” stemming from the fire he’s accused of starting.
“There are numerous homes, many of which are burnt completely, some are just heavily damaged, that are part of the 15 counts of criminal mischief,” he said.
They said it happened on Highway 101 near Boronda Road, and it was first reported just after 9am on Friday.
The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office said she has no connection with antifa, contrary to rumors circulating online about that the group had been involved in starting fires.
Trooper Ryan Burke, Washington State Patrol District 1 Public Information Officer for Pierce and Thurston counties said that two men have been arrested for arson.
He tweeted that a 36-year-old Puyallup resident was caught on State Route 167 at Meridian for setting a fire on Wednesday and is now in jail.
On Thursday another pedestrian was spotted lighting a match in the grass at State Route 512 and State Route 7.
The incident was observed by a citizen who called 911 and after a short chase on foot the person is in custody.
The FBI has released a statement addressing social media conspiracies that “extremists” were starting the fires after being inundated with claims.
“With our state and local partners, the FBI has investigated several such reports and found them to be untrue,” the agency said in a statement.
“Conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away local fire and police agencies working around the clock to bring these fires under control.”