A Sutherlin man is in custody after allegedly starting six fires in the forest near McComas Creek Tuesday night.
Shortly after 11 p.m., firefighters from the Douglas Forest Protective Association responded to the fires located 4 miles northeast of Glide. They estimated the fires were an acre in size combined, with the largest fire being about a quarter acre in size.
As crews tried to investigate the fires, one firefighter reportedly came across the suspect who was holding a machete down at his side, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect, Jedediah Fulton, allegedly prevented the firefighter from investigating the site and asked for a ride to Glide. He then threatened to set additional fires if he did not get a lift, according to court documents.
The firefighter backed away, and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was notified.
Deputies arrested Fulton, who allegedly admitted to setting the fires because he wanted to signal help three hours after his car broke down, according to court documents.
Fulton has been charged with two counts of first-degree arson, a Class A felony, as well as reckless burning, interfering with a firefighter and menacing, all Class A misdemeanors.
DFPA spokesman Kyle Reed said that he doesn’t see a lot of intentional fires in Douglas County.
“It’s happened periodically throughout my career, but it’s not a day-to-day thing for sure,” Reed said.
Crews remained on the scene overnight to fully contain the spread of the fires.