LINCOLN, Calif. August 27, 2018 – CAL FIRE Fire Investigators arrested Gregory Scott Courtney, 30, of Yuba City for multiple counts of arson. Courtney is accused of deliberately setting multiple fires in the Lincoln area of Placer County between August 6th and 20th, 2018.
A team of CAL FIRE investigators assisted by Placer County Probation Department, Placer County Sheriff Office, Placer County District Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified and surveilled Courtney after a spree of fires on August 7th. These fires were lit as the deadly Carr and Ferguson fires continued to burn, and the Mendocino Complex became the largest fire in California history.
“We are fortunate to have been able to arrest this individual, before another fire damaged more property or injured or killed someone,” said CAL FIRE Unit Chief George Morris III. “This destructive and reckless behavior could have led to a truly tragic outcome.”
As of August 26, CAL FIRE responded to 4,434 fires for a total of 876,428 acres burned, as compared to 4,170 fires year to date in 2017 with 228,803 acres burned.
With an increase in fires and acres burned, preventing fires remains a critical need. Most fires are caused by human activity, deliberately set fires represent approximately 8% of fires in State Responsibility Area. “Arson is an unconscionable act, it endangers the lives of the public and first responders, and robs communities of lives and livelihoods,” said Morris, “I am very proud of the tireless efforts of our CAL FIRE Law Enforcement Officers and our law enforcement partners to bring this dangerous individual to justice.”
Courtney was arrested and booked into Placer County Jail. Bail is set at 2.4 million dollars.