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Flagstaff, AZ- On Sunday, May 3, 2015 at about 2:20 pm Coconino County Emergency Dispatchers received multiple reports of suspicious smoke from motorists who were traveling on I-17. The responding Deputy arrived in an area located north of Tovar Trail in the Kachina Village Community. U.S. Forest Service and the Highlands Fire Department personnel were in the process of suppressing the fire that the deputy estimated to be 150 square feet in size. The deputy observed that the fire appeared to be advancing in a north direction with a burnt structure that appeared to be a child’s fort at the south end.
The Deputy recalled investigating a similar incident that occurred at the same location in 2014 that resulted in the arrest of two 13 year-old boys. He drove to the residence of one of the two boys that had been arrested as the result of the 2014 fire but was unable to make contact with him there. As he was driving on Tovar Trail he observed two boys riding bicycles in the middle of the street in the opposite direction of the fire. He made contact with the two and identified one of them as being involved with the 2014 fire. The second boy admitted to being in the area when this fire started and identified a second suspect who was not present. The second subject lived in the City of Flagstaff and the Deputy asked that a Flagstaff Police Officer contact and interview him.
As the result of statements made by the two suspects and items of evidence that were discovered and collected by the Deputy, one 13 year-old boy was arrested for the charges of Reckless Burning and Disorderly Conduct and booked into the Coconino County Juvenile Detention Facility; the other 13 year-old boy was referred to Juvenile Court for the same charges.
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Media Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, 928-226-5089
For more information about the fire size and status, you can visit Highlands Fire Department Facebook page.