Responsibility for an outbreak of fires that ravaged two Arizona counties since mid-June has settled on a local firefighter. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office charged fireman Karson Nutter, 18, of the Ash Fork Fire Department with setting the blazes.
The suspect reportedly confessed to setting seven fires in just a matter of weeks. He is charged with three counts of arson of a structure or property, aggravated criminal damage and five counts of false reporting to law enforcement.
Nutter is being held on a $2 million bond and is expected to face further charges in Coconino County.
Making the allegations even worse is the incredible danger posed by starting uncontrolled burns during the hot and dry summer months in the Southwest.
A pair of fires targeted a Mobil gas station, and others were started in a Yavapai County-owned cemetery. In neighboring Coconino County, Nutter is accused of burning two abandoned homes and starting more wildfires.
CNN reported that Nutter became the primary suspect after he gave them “deceptive and misleading information” in their investigation.
Karson Nutter, 18, is accused of starting fires in the Ash Fork area as well as others in Coconino County. https://t.co/gjcjroUEP0
— KOLDNews (@KOLDNews) July 23, 2023
When another fire was set late last week, authorities brought the 18-year-old in for questioning and he allegedly confessed to seven of the eight blazes. The question was why.
Sheriff’s investigators revealed that Nutter said his motivations for starting the fires “ranged from boredom, retaliation against a former employer, chasing a thrill and setting fires to some abandoned homes for being ‘ugly.’”
Wildfires continue to be a threat across North America, and the foolishness of Nutter’s alleged actions cannot be overstated.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the U.S. so far in 2023 has suffered 28,470 fires. These as of July 21 consumed a total of 847,349 acres across 10 states.
The good news is that the trend, despite alarms from global warming advocates, is actually downward. The 10-year average through last week is for there to be 32,686 wildfires burning over 3.3 million acres.
Fire suppression efforts also continue in Canada against blazes that blanketed many areas of the eastern U.S. with dense smoke. Over 2,000 American firefighters are north of the border assisting with the control of thousands of fires that have burned over 28 million acres.