SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (press release) – A 23-year-old Yucaipa man was charged today with several felony counts of arson in connection with multiple fires that burned over 900 acres and seriously injured one firefighter.
Jarrod Samra was charged with one count of Arson Causing Great Bodily Injury and eight counts of Arson of a Structure of Forest. If convicted as charged, Samra faces 19 years in state prison.
“This arsonist will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” District Attorney Michael Ramos said. “The history of fires in our county and the destruction they have caused to human life and property is absolutely tragic. Thankfully, through the investigative work of our law enforcement and public safety partners, we were able to stop this individual and prevent any future destruction or potential loss of life.”
Samara was arrested Thursday, Aug. 3, after deputies responding to reports of a vegetation fire on Hwy. 38, observed a vehicle in the area where the fire originated and made contact with the vehicle. The driver was identified as Jarrod Samra. After further investigation, Samra was arrested.
“Using investigative tools and gathering evidence led the Task Force to identifying Jarrod Samra as the suspect responsible for at least 8 fires,” Sheriff John McMahon said. “This is a perfect example of public safety agencies working together to keep our communities safe.”
Samra is scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at the San Bernardino Justice Center in Dept. S-8. This case is culmination of a multi-agency arson task force involving the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, San Bernardino County Fire, Cal Fire, United States Forest Service, and the San Bernardino Police Department.
“San Bernardino County Fire takes arson personally due to the extreme threat to the citizens we serve and the firefighters who put themselves between the fire and communities they protect,” Fire Chief Mark Hartwig said. “Catching and convicting these criminals is a high priority.”
A copy of the complaint and a fact sheet can be downloaded at the following link: https://goo.gl/q7LWhi.