YOSEMITE LAKES PARK – The sixth fire on Revis Circle East was called in at about 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 14, and this time, there were witnesses.
Several of the residents along the cul-de-sac and Revis Road reported to Cal Fire that they had seen suspicious individuals and gave descriptions of a vehicle seen entering and leaving Revis Circle East in the moments before and after the fire was reported.The fire was burning behind the property just north of Ken Jackson and Alice Waterman, who have been through this five times since May 11, with several of these fires burning directly behind their house. They’ve grown used to the sights and sounds of big red engines staging in their driveway.
Alice says she heard that now-familiar crackling sound, saw the fire and called 911. Several of the neighbors ran to the residence, which is generally unoccupied, according to those who live on the street, and began working on the blaze with shovels until crews arrived on scene.
The fire was quickly contained at about 2 acres, but no one in the neighborhood seemed very concerned with the progress of the fire. They were far more interested in the stories of those who had seen the vehicle that they all suspected contained those responsible for setting the fire.
Investigators quickly taped off Revis Circle East, and began interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence.
As in any eye-witness situation, different people told various versions of exactly what happened, but a lot of valuable information was gathered by investigators.
In deference to Cal Fire and a successful conclusion to their investigation, we are not releasing details at this time.
We can say that several of those who live on the road say they spoke to an individual they believe was involved in setting the fire, and that it was not someone known to them.
Karen Guillemin, Cal Fire Prevention Specialist, reminds everyone to get detailed information regarding suspicious individuals.
“Details are so important,” she says. “Get a good description. Height and weight, hair color, what were they wearing – shirt, levis, shoes? What was the make, model and color of the car, which direction were they headed, what road were they on, what time of day was it? Take a picture. Everyone has a cell phone.”
This latest fire is the 17th in the YLP area in the past week, and comes just one day after a Town Hall meeting that drew hundreds of concerned residents anxious to meet with Cal Fire officials about the rash of fires that have been designated as “of undetermined origin.”
Those along Revis Road have definitely been vigilant in the face of what many are convinced are arson fires.
Residents are hopeful that this new information will lead to major progress in the investigation, and finally, a break from the stress caused by worrying about where and when the next one will strike.
“We just need to catch and stop whoever is doing this,” said one resident. “It’s just become all-consuming, and we want our lives back.”
Call 1-800-47-ARSON or contact your local fire department or Cal Fire if you feel you have information that would help investigators.