dailypilot.com/news/tn-dpt-me-0510-irvine-alleged-arson-20140509,0,4946230.story

Daily Pilot

Irvine man arrested after small grass fire

7:33 PM PDT, May 9, 2014

Advertisement

Irvine police this week arrested a man who allegedly lit a grass fire in the city's Turtle Rock neighborhood.

About 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Orange County Fire Authority quickly put out a small blaze that burned a 40-by-30-foot patch of grass near Rustling Wind, police said.

An OCFA investigator decided the fire was suspicious because it was started in dry leaves piled on some wood.

Officials talked to a 20-year-old Irvine resident named John Howe at the scene and determined he set the fire, according to police.

He allegedly lit the leaves and then called 911 to report the fire when it grew bigger than he expected.

Police did not disclose any possible motive, but said, "Although the potential for tragedy was great, there is no indication Howe was targeting any structures or homes." Howe was arrested on suspicion of arson and booked in Orange County Jail on $50,000 jail, police said.

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck