Suspect Charged With 8 Counts of Arson in Wildfires

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Authorities announced arson-related charges Monday in connection with a series of wildfires in San Bernardino County.

Jarrod Anthony Samra, a 23-year-old man from Yucaipa, was arrested last week in a wildfire in the hills above Mentone. His vehicle was found near the Bryant fire, which burned about 300 acres, according to authorities.

A firefighter was injured in one of the fires, which began in June.

Samra faces eight counts of arson for eight different fires in the county, District Attorney Mike Ramos said.  Most of the fires started along roads and at similar times.

Evidence also was found at each scene that connected the fires to Samra, according to authorities. 

Samra is believed to be a former member of the fire explorers program, Sheriff John McMahon said. He faces up to 19 years in prison, if convicted.

Investigators were preparing arrest warrants for Samra when the Bryant fire broke out last week. After information about the suspect was dispatched to law enforcement agencies, deputies located his vehicle near the Bryant fire, Ramos said.

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