Juveniles accused of setting string of fires

October 19, 2011 5:58:54 PM PDT
Detectives have identified at least two juveniles accused of setting a string of fires in a wooded area near a Spring subdivision.

One juvenile has been charged with second-degree felony arson of open space land, and charges are pending against at least one more, according to the Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office. The ages of the suspects were not released, but authorities say the boy who is charged is "way under 17 years old."

Detectives say since August, there have been several suspicious fires in a wooded area near the Spring Trails subdivision and Spring Creek and some of those fires burned several dozen acres at a time.

But the suspects weren't known until Monday evening, when a Spring Trails resident who was out for an evening walk spotted them setting a fire in the wooded area and called authorities. The witness was able to identify one of the juveniles as a resident of the neighborhood. The other suspect's identity is still unknown.

"This wooded area is several hundred acres and stretches all the way to Spring Creek. The creek would not stop a forest fire from jumping over into North Harris County. Given the unprecedented drought and extreme fire danger in this part of Texas, even a small fire is taken very seriously by fire fighters and arson," authorities said in a statement.

The boy who has been charged with arson has his first court appearance later this week.

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