A grassfire that ignited on the afternoon of Monday, August 22, 2022 in a grass field west of Ukiah’s Costco is believed to be a result of arson, law enforcement confirmed.
Ukiah Police Department Lieutenant Thomas Corning told us the circumstances are under investigation by UPD’s Detective Bureau and no suspects have been taken into custody at this time.
Ukiah Valley Fire Authority Battalion Chief Justin Buckingham, one of Mendocino County’s eminent arson investigators, confirmed the blaze was “human-caused.”
Due to the active investigation, authorities would not provide an overview of the criminal circumstances associated with the ignition of the grass fire.
Scanner traffic from that afternoon indicated that a reporting party witnessed a group of three Hispanic males driving a silver Mitsubishi sedan. One of those subjects fired what was described as either a flare or a roman candle before the grass fire took off. The trio drove away from the area and law enforcement issued a Be on the Lookout for a vehicle matching that description.
Lieutenant Corning told us more information regarding the criminal circumstances will be released to the public in the near future.
Meanwhile, if the public has any information about the circumstances surrounding the grassfire, contact the Ukiah Police Department at (707)463-6242.