KEY POINTS

  • Domingo Lopez, Jr. was arrested for the second time for starting six brush fires in Portland, Oregon
  • Lopez was first arrested Sunday after using a Molotov cocktail to start a small brush fire
  • He faces six additional counts of reckless burning 

A man was taken into custody for the second time hours after his initial arrest for starting a series of brush fires in Portland, Oregon.

45-year-old Domingo Lopez, Jr. was first arrested late Sunday, September 13, after East Precinct officers were dispatched to assist the Portland Fire and Rescue with a brush fire incident at East Burnside Street. As they responded, officers found a section along Interstate 205 was burning, the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement.

Firefighters were able to douse the fire. No injuries and damage to structures were reported.

handcuffs-354042_1920 Representational image. Photo: Photo by Pixabay (CC0)

About an hour later, a witness reached out to the East Precinct and pointed out Lopez in a nearby tent. They then confirmed that he started the fire with what officers described to be as a “plastic bottle with a wick.”

Lopez was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of reckless burning and disorderly conduct in the Second Degree.

He was later released under his own recognizance, said the New York Post, citing court records.

Police were again dispatched to a report of multiple fires burning along the west side of the I-205 freeway around 3:30 a.m. Monday, KATU 2 said. Portland Fire and Rescue were able to extinguish three of the fires, while community members put out the other three.

“All were caught early. No one was injured and no structures were burnt,” said the Portland Police.

The New York Daily News said authorities were able to locate Lopez walking along the shoulder and arrested him. A lighter was seized as evidence. He was then transported to a hospital for mental health evaluation.

Lopez was issued citations for six additional counts of reckless burning, with arson investigators determining if “other charges are warranted,” said KATU 2.

Lopez’s pyro spree came in the wake of a wildfire raging across western Oregon, scorching thousands of acres. 10 people have died, while 22 are still missing, state officials told OPB.org Monday.

“We do have a system moving in this afternoon into tomorrow. We could see some slight improvements, but realistically we’re not expecting enough that would really improve air quality drastically,” said Rebecca Muessle of the Portland National Weather Station while describing the effects of thick smoke as a hindrance of predicting wind direction.