Overnight Sonora fires were suspicious

Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat

Three small vegetation fires were sparked Tuesday night in Sonora that " appeared to be suspicious," according to Sonora Fire Department Chief Mike Barrows.

All three were off of Stockton Road, two behind Stockton Road and Southgate Drive.

The first, reported about 8 p.m., was between the multi-business parking lot on the 100 block of Stockton Road and West Linoberg Street. It was contained to about 20 by 30 feet, with crews leaving an hour later.

The next two, reported about 9:45 p.m. were across the street, up a hill, in a more densely vegetated area. Barrows said it was possibly an area in which transients camp. One fire was about 100 feet from Southgate Drive and was contained to about 20 by 30 feet.

The largest was another hundred feet farther up the hill and grew to about 40 by 100 feet before being contained about 11:45 p.m.

Barrows said the fires were suspicious because of their proximity to each other, and that no clear causes were evident. Humidity was likely too high for something like a discarded cigarette butt to have started any of them, he said.

The Sonora Police Department is investigating the incidents.

11907745
The Union Democrat
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