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Reno Man Arrested for Recklessly Starting Fire Along Highway 139 South of Adin

Friday, September 11th, 2020

A Reno, Nevada man was arrested Monday after the wheel bearings in a travel trailer he was towing failed, starting three separate fires along Highway 139 south of Adin in northern Lassen County.

According to details released by the Lassen-Modoc Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, a Cal-FIRE law enforcement officer arrested the man for starting the “139 Fires” one-mile south of Adin.

The complex consisted of three separate fires, the smallest of which was less than one-acre and the largest of which was over 30-acres.

“The cause of the fire was determined to be a travel trailer that experienced failure of its wheel bearings,” explains Cal-FIRE LMU Public Information Officer Leah Sandberg.

“This caused the trailer to lose its tire, which made the axle come in contact with the roadway, sending hot sparks and hot material into the vegetation along the highway.”

According to the report, the driver drove more than 40-miles towing the trailer, from Adin to Eagle Lake before he was apprehended.

The suspect was booked into Lassen County Jail on suspicion of violating Penal Code 452(c), unlawfully and recklessly causing a fire that burns or causes to be burned, any structure, forest land or property.

As fire danger remains extreme across California, Cal-FIRE would like to remind residents of Vehicle Safety:

  • Never let your brake pads wear too thin. Metal on metal makes sparks.
  • Vehicles parked too closely to vegetation start fires.
  • Dragging chains will throw sparks. Never substitute parts when towing. Only use appropriate safety pins and hitch ball.
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained, with nothing dragging on the ground.
  • Check tire pressure. Driving on an exposed wheel rim throws sparks.
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