Breaking News
More () »

Sacramento's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Sacramento, California | ABC10.com

Homeless man arrested for starting vegetation fire in Auburn

The vegetation fire was contained to a quarter of an acre before being extinguished.

PLACER COUNTY, Calif. — A homeless man from the Auburn area has been arrested for allegedly starting a fire near the Foresthill Bridge. 

According to a joint press release from Cal Fire and Placer County Fire, 52-year-old Robert Thornton is accused of deliberately starting a fire near the Foresthill Bridge, off Lincoln Way in Auburn, just before 2 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29.

The vegetation fire was contained to a quarter of an acre before being extinguished.

“Our aggressive initial attack and law enforcement investigation led to a quick arson arrest before more destructive consequences could have taken place,” Cal Fire Unit Chief Brian Estes said.

According to Cal Fire, there have been more than 8,100 wildfires that have burned more than 3.6 million acres in California since the beginning of 2020. The departments were assisted by Placer County Sheriff's Office and the Auburn Fire Department. 

“Arson is an unconscionable act and something we aggressively pursue through the tireless efforts of our Cal Fire / Placer County Fire Department Law Enforcement Officers said Estes, “I am very proud of our CAL FIRE Law Enforcement Officers and our law enforcement partners in working to mitigate arson-related incidents in Placer County." 

Thornton was arrested and booked into Placer County Jail on $235,000 bail.

WATCH MORE: VERIFY: Are the ongoing California wildfires caused by arson?

Many comments and posts on social media imply that the devastating wildfires in northern California are caused by 'arsonists' in the area.