Maxwell Park fires worry officials
Sonoma fire officials are looking for whoever has been lighting fires in Maxwell Farms Regional Park over the last month.
At about 9:20 p.m. Thursday, Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue personnel were called to a small 20-foot-by-20-foot fire on the westside of the park near Sonoma Creek. While they were on the way to the blaze, they stumbled onto a second fire.
"While we were making access to the fire that was reported, we came across about a 40-foot-by-40-foot fire," said Division Chief Bob Norrbom, with the Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority.
Norrbom said the department has put out a half dozen blazes at Maxwell Farms Regional Park that he termed "suspicious" over the last month.
The fires, the largest of which was about a half-acre, have occurred after dark. "They've all been between 9 p.m. and midnight," Norrbom said.
Thursday, the fire department received a call about the smaller fire from a resident of Willow Street at about 9:20 p.m., were on scene by 9:24 and had both fires contained by 9:35. In addition to three engines from Sonoma Valley, CalFire sent an engine.
Friday, fire investigators were on the scene of Thursday night's fires looking for clues, but Norrbom said there have been few clues from the previous fires.
Still, he's hoping for any witnesses who might step forward. Witnesses, or any one with information about the blazes, are urged to contact the fire department at 996-2102.
The blazes started on July 26 and Norrbom said all of the fires have been in areas that have been disked and so far haven't threatened any structures.
He calls the fires a nuisance but they have the potential to cause some damage.
"To have this many fires in a short period of time is cause for concern," he said.