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Sheriff: Man suspected of starting wildfires tied to tree by residents until authorities arrived

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Posted at 2:07 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 14:07:25-04

A sheriff said residents of an Oregon town reportedly tied a man suspected of starting two wildfires to a tree until authorities arrived on the scene.

Curry County Sheriff John Ward said Trennon Smith, 31, of Veneta, was charged with two counts of first-degree arson and reckless burning.

In a statement released Tuesday, Ward said deputies were alerted Monday around 1:46 p.m. by a Bureau of Land Management employee about fires near Rogue River Ranch and Mariel Lodge.

The Bureau of Land Management employee reported seeing a man walking along the gravel road that leads towards Mariel Lodge and Rogue River Ranch, starting fires, Ward said.

Ward said federal, state and county authorities, along with the help of residents and three helicopters, could get the two fires under control and contained quickly.

Meanwhile, Smith was detained by three residents who spotted him walking on the road near the fires, Ward said,

According to Ward, the residents reportedly tied Smith to a tree to subdue him after he became combative with them.

Ward said an ambulance was called after Smith sustained some injuries that he "apparently received from falling down."

Smith was arrested and was transported to the Curry County Jail after receiving medical treatment at a local hospital, Ward said.

According to the Associated Press, Smith's bond was set to $100,000.