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9 fires in barely an hour in Ukiah; $1 million bail for suspect

Marty Pinches with Cal Fire works to put out a spot fire along Talmage Road during a series of possible deliberately set fires in the Ukiah area, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. PHOTO: The Press Democrat/Kent Porter

14 August 2020

THE MERCURY NEWS — A Ukiah man is suspected of lighting nine fires in barely an hour Wednesday afternoon at the south end of the city, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said.

Alberto Acosta. (Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office)

The first fire was reported just before 5 p.m. Sheriff’s deputies responding to that fire heard of another about a mile away, and then a string of reports began coming in: more fires along South State Street, and sightings of a ponytailed man on a bicycle.
As firefighters from five agencies responded to the scenes, the sheriff’s office put out a call for surveillance video in an attempt to identify the culprit.

A possible identification came from an off-duty deputy who had driven past the scene of the last fires, a cluster of four around 6:15 p.m. near the Russian River. That deputy’s information led the office to issue a be-on-the-lookout notice for Alberto Vincent Acosta, 32, of Ukiah. […]

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