Apr 10, 2013 8:15 PM by Nathan O'Neal

With latest arson arrest, Marana concerned over 'intentional' fire trend

MARANA - It may be early in the wildfire season but there have already been at least six people arrested for setting fires in the Santa Cruz River Park.

A Marana man believed to be responsible for the most recent series of fires was arrested Tuesday. 24-year-old Tyler Shotts was charged on three counts of reckless burning and two counts of endangerment.

Shotts was taken into custody after police received multiple tips that the fire was intentionally set. He appeared in video court Wednesday and was denied release by the court until Monday when the terms of his release can be established.

Shotts was accused of setting two brush fires that scorched almost two acres of land in the Santa Cruz riverbed.

It's something Captain Adam Goldberg at the Northwest Fire Department has seen all too often.

"I mention the term it's an alarming trend because I think we've seen it too much... again three instances already and we're in early April," Goldberg told News 4 Tucson.

The charred earth along the Santa Cruz River is a reminder of how quickly things can get out of control.

"When we have all the circumstances coming together in a perfect storm, that small fire spreads too fast... they can't control it any longer. It starts spreading to the point where it reaches a building," Goldberg warned.

With the trend of intentionally lit brush fires escalating, Goldberg is fearful of what's to come.

"Unfortunately with the copycat situation -- and that people are aware of the fact that fires are intentionally being set [and] the curiosity of young teenage boys, it makes for us to get really concerned about what the future holds," Goldberg said.

Captain Golberg insists that the public remain vigilant and let law enforcement know if they see any suspicious behavior or even think someone might be playing with fire in the area.


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