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Deputies arrest man ‘covered in soot’ on suspicion of setting Rio Nido fire

A 28-year-old man was arrested for felony arson Thursday in the unincorporated community of Rio Nido, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said.

Sonoma County Sheriff's Office Todd Bowman, 28, was arrested on suspicion of arson related to a vegetation fire in Rio Nido, Calif. on Thursday, October 29, 2020.

Deputies, Cal Fire, and the Sonoma County and Monte Rio fire districts responded to the 9 a.m. report of a vegetation fire. The report included a description and location of the suspect, the sheriff’s office said.

The fire had started at the site of a former homeless camp beneath a bridge that had been cleared earlier last week due to its proximity to the waterway’s high water mark, the office said.

Deputies located and detained Todd Bowman, one of the people removed from the camp. Bowman was described as “covered in soot.”

Sonoma County Sheriff's Office Firefighters put out a Rido Nido, Calif. vegetation fire suspected of being an arson incident Thursday, October 29, 2020.

After questioning, deputies arrested him for felony arson and a misdemeanor charge of putting pollutants near a waterway and he was taken to the Sonoma County jail and held on $10,000 bail.

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