PLEASANT HILL (KRON) — An arrest was made after a suspicious fire broke out along a Pleasant Hill walking trail Tuesday night, which may be connected to a string of arson fires in the area, according to authorities.
The fire broke out along the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) trail near Oak Park just south of Cleaveland Road. Officials extinguished the fire by 10:00 p.m.
An arrest was made in Pleasant the following day, on Wednesday, 48-year-old Mark Smith transient out of Pleasant Hill was arrested in connection with the fire.
Witnesses say they heard people in the area shortly after the fire started.
EBMUD has confirmed that the fire reported on Wednesday happened on an EBMUD right of way near an aqueduct, which is used as a trail.
EBMUD security crews have been patrolling the area since late-September following reports of other fires in the area near the infrastructure.
EBMUD said it will continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.
This comes as firefighters are investigating 20 fires that burned along the Iron Horse Trail in Concord. Investigators believe an arsonist is behind the string of fires.
However, investigators have not said whether the latest fire in Pleasant Hill is connected to the previous Concord fires.
Officials are investigating if Smith is in connection or responsible for the other fires in the area.