Arson suspected in multi-acre brush fire

OROVILLE, Calif. - The search is on for three men believed to be responsible for lighting a fire that blackened 25 acres of vegetation in south Oroville Tuesday afternoon.

The blaze threatened dozens of homes and a PG&E power station on Palm Avenue near Lincoln Boulevard.

Fire investigators said this is the seventh fire in a month and a half in this area.

Investigators said the fire was likely started intentionally when it was reported around 12:15 p.m.

It threatened about 50 homes.

The chief of the El Medio Fire Department said he received several reports from transients living in the field that a group of three men routinely start fires in the dry brush, call 911 after lighting them, and run away.

El Medio Fire Department called out their entire 11-person department and needed the help of CAL FIRE to stop the blaze. They also responded to another fire in the same area the night before.

"They didn't like how it burned last night so they came back out this morning and started it at the very end of where we stopped it last night," said El Medio Fire Department Chief Rusty Ohlhausen.

No one was evacuated Tuesday afternoon and crews were able to put the fire out within an hour. So far, there are no leads as to who these men are or what they look like.

Police officers can patrol the area, but not on the land since its private property. No one was hurt and no structures were damaged.

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