Portland Police: Man Set Brush Fire With Molotov Cocktail, Arrested And Released Same Day, Then Set 6 More Fires Fernando Canton Published in Oct 2020 / Updated in Aug 2021 Portland police arrested a man for setting a brush fire along a highway. Then, less than 12 hours after release, he set six more. Police booked Domingo Lopez Jr., 45, into county jail after discovering the blaze on the side of a freeway. A witness said he saw him setting the fire. And while in custody, Lopez admitted to arson. According to his arrest affidavit, Lopez Jr. used a molotov cocktail, with a wick, to ignite the blaze. As a result, the police charged him with reckless burning and disorderly conduct in the second degree. They later released him without bail. However, less than 12 hours after release, Lopez Jr. set six more fires on the same freeway side. Police then detained and charged him once again. Police reports read: “Portland Fire and Rescue extinguished three of them while passing community members put out the other three.”“All were caught early. No one was injured, and no structures were burnt.”“Officers located Domingo Lopez, Junior walking along the shoulder and arrested him. They also seized a lighter as evidence.” In custody, Lopez Jr. received six additional citations for reckless burning. He also underwent a mental health evaluation. As well as Lopez Jr., police have also arrested four other people on suspicion of starting fires on the West Coast. The numerous arrests have led to speculation on social media that the fires are ‘political.’ The FBI has dismissed these claims as ‘conspiracy theories.’ Facebook has also instituted policies to take down any posts suggesting left-wing and right-wing groups are setting the fires. Meanwhile, experts are blaming the blazes on climate change. The news comes as wildfires continue wreaking havoc on the West Coast of the US. They have burned more than 1 million acres of land in Oregon alone. After weeks of the blazes, dozens of people have also gone missing, and more have died across California, Washington, and Oregon. In California, wildfires have surpassed a grim milestone, more than doubling the size of last year’s blazes. And the fire season is still far from over. These fires have burned more than 4 million acres, an area larger than the entire state of Connecticut. Scott McLean, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention, said: “The 4 million mark is unfathomable. It boggles the mind, and it takes your breath away.” The previous record was set in 2018 when wildfires burned 1.67 million acres. As of October 4, the fires have killed more than 31 people and destroyed 8,454 structures.