Migrant Intentionally Started California Wildfire near Border, Say Feds

Border Patrol agents arrest a Mexican national for allegedly setting fires in California's Jacumba Wilderness region. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector

El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien they say was intentionally setting fires in the Jacumba Wilderness region on Saturday afternoon. The Mexican national had already lit one blaze and was in the process of starting another when they found him, officials stated.

El Centro Station dispatchers notified Border Patrol agents during the afternoon of September 25 about a fire in the Jacumba Wilderness region near the California border with Mexico. Agents responded to the area and located an individual in the vicinity of the fire about 45 minutes later.

The agents reported that the man, an 18-year-old Mexican national had already started one fire and was attempting to start a second. The agents attempted to put out the fire but were unsuccessful.

El Centro Station officials contacted the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of the fires. BLM officials replied they were dispatching fixed-wing aircraft with firefighting capabilities to attempt to gain control of the spreading fire. They also dispatched a fire engine, hand crew, and helicopters to battle the blaze.

The efforts to contain the fire were finally successful at about 9:30 a.m. the following morning.

Border Patrol officials said they arrested the “accused arsonist” on charges related to illegal entry into the United States. They transported him to the El Centro Sector Processing Center. Officials did not say if the Mexican national remains in custody and if any arson charges or other criminal charges were filed.

El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino reported that BLM is investigating the incident.

In response to an inquiry from Breitbart Texas, Border Patrol officials from the El Centro Sector said the fire consumed 6.4 acres in the Jacumba Wilderness. The migrant is no longer in CBP custody. Officials said the BLM cited the migrant for violations under 18 USC Chapter 91. The fire remains under investigation.

Border Patrol officials said the migrant had no previous immigration history. Agents expelled the migrant back to Mexico under Title 42 coronavirus protection protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the Trump administration.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with new information from U.S. Border Patrol officials.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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