Police officers in Portland have apprehended a Hispanic man whom they caught lighting brush fires along the edge of the I-205 freeway, which contributed to the massive smoke plumes that now blanket the Pacific Northwest.
According to reports, 45-year-old Domingo Lopez Jr. stuffed a plastic bottle with a wick and fuel before lighting his homemade Molotov cocktail and tossing it into the brush near the 9600 block of East Burnside Street around 4:30 p.m. on Monday.
Firefighters quickly arrived to extinguish the flames, and Lopez, who was hiding out in a nearby tent, was apprehended. Lopez admitted to lighting the fight and was arrested and booked in the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of reckless burning and second-degree disorderly conduct.
However, Lopez was quickly released, only to be arrested a second time later that same morning after he was caught starting six more additional fires in the area. Three of them were reportedly put out by firefighters, while the other three were put out by community members.
Thankfully, nobody was injured and no structures were damaged. Disturbingly, Lopez was set free after starting the first fire, upon which he proceeded to start six more, demonstrating the failure of the criminal justice system to remove this danger from the streets of Portland.
Lopez has now been arrested and booked a second time, this time with a lighter that was seized as evidence. This is on top of the remnants of the Molotov cocktail that were retrieved following the first fire.
Reports indicate that Lopez was transported to a hospital on a police officer hold for a mental health evaluation. He has been issued six citations for six additional counts of reckless burning, these on top of his first set of charges.
Local, federal officials deny that arson is responsible for massive Oregon wildfires
Lopez’s arrest comes after at least three others also involving arson across the state of Oregon. This has fueled fears that many of the fires taking place there are not wild, but are rather the result of arsonists setting the state ablaze in the leadup to the 2020 presidential election.
While there are certainly several isolated cases of small brushfires contributing to the overall smoke problem plaguing the West Coast, authorities both local and federal, including from the FBI, reject the notion that arson is responsible for the untold millions of acres that have burned in recent weeks.
As revealed and explained in the below video, many of the largest fires appear to be occurring near or around fault zones, including in south-central Oregon where a recent earthquake was succeeded by another new wildfire.
What appears to be taking place is some combination of arson and acts of God, which together are blanketing the nation in hazy smoke that is showing no sign of relenting anytime soon, save for some massive rain storms to put out the fires and clear the skies of all the resultant pollution.
There was also the accidental fire that was reportedly started in California, where pyrotechnics used during a “gender reveal party” lit nearby dry brush and caused massive destruction.
“Arsonists should get no bail,” wrote one Fox News commenter.
“Why even waste the resources to try to combat the fires if we aren’t going to commit to preventing them?” asked another.
Still another wants to know why Lopez was released at all after setting the first fire when it is clear that he should have “been committed for a psych evaluation.”
For more related news about the continued threat of wildfires across the Pacific Northwest, be sure to check out Collapse.news.
Sources for this article include: