Multiple grass fires discovered in Ogden, officials suspect arson

Posted at 11:15 AM, Aug 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-17 23:26:28-04

OGDEN — Ogden fire crews responded to six grass fires within one hour Friday night, and officials believe they were intentionally lit.

he first grass fire occurred at 9:56 p.m. at 679 Patterson St. — the last was discovered on 18th Street and Lincoln Avenue at 10:57 p.m.

Jeff Page lives near the area where one of the fires began, and he said it’s obvious to him the blaze was human-caused.

“You can see that the fire had started at one point right next to the trail and fanned out from that point,” he said. “Plus, there’s no piles of wood, no lightning, how would it have set itself naturally? No spontaneous combustion or anything like that.”

The fires ranged from a quarter acre to one half-acre in size, according to the Ogden Fire Department.  Because of their proximity to the Ogden Parkway Trail System, authorities believe the person behind them is using the system’s access to different neighborhoods to start them.

“That seems to be the mode that this individual has used to travel from one fire location to the other,” said Deputy Fire Chief Eric Bauman.

Friday night’s fires appear to be connected to four others set in Ogden earlier in the week, according to Bauman.

"There are also a lot of homes, a lot of residences, along that area and that's our concern,” he said. “These fires can get out of hand very quickly with the conditions."

Bauman said they have increased patrols in the trail system, but are relying heavily on the public’s help, as well. Officials are asking the community to report any suspicious behavior in the area to the Weber Dispatch non-emergency line at 801-395-8221.

Friday’s grass fires were located at:

-679 Patterson St. starting at 9:56 p.m.
-3170 Keisle Ave. starting at 10:13 p.m.
-3100 Stephens Ave. starting at 10:18 p.m.
-27th St. Wall Ave. starting at 10:26 p.m.
-1945 Wall Ave. starting at 10:47 p.m.
-18th St. Lincoln Ave. starting at 10:57 p.m.