Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Tuesday, July 26 @ 2:07 p.m.

Arson Suspect Arrested Following Fires Near Remote Rogue River Community of Mariel

From a Curry County Sheriff's Office news release:

Monday July 25, 2022, at about 1:46pm, the Curry County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the USFS out of Medford, reporting active fires near or at the Rogue River Ranch and Mariel Lodge in Mariel, Or.  The location of Mariel Lodge and Rogue River Ranch is in the far northeast portion of Curry County, only accessible either by river or Forest Service and BLM roads.  The information was relayed by radio from a Bureau of Land Management employee who was in the area of the fires at the time and had reported that a white male adult was seen walking along the gravel road that leads towards Mariel Lodge and Rogue River Ranch, starting fires.

Curry County Dispatch under direction of the Sheriff, notified Coos Forest Patrol, BLM, USFS, Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, Douglass County Sheriff’s Office and the S.W. Oregon Department of Forestry asking for assistance in extinguishing the fires and locating the suspect. All mentioned firefighting and law enforcement agencies responded to the area with a description of the suspect.  Information provided by a witness on scene that there were two separate fires.  Three helicopters were dispatched by ODF while ground crews including residents of the area quickly got the two fires under control and contained.  Three local residents of that area located the suspect walking on the roadway near the fires and detained him until law enforcement arrived on scene.  It was reported that the suspect became very combative with the three residents and had to be tied to a tree to subdue him.  An ambulance crew was asked to respond due to some injuries that the suspect apparently received from falling down.   BLM Law Enforcement arrived and at the request of the Curry County Sheriff’s Office, arrested the suspect, identified as thirty-year-old Trennon Smith from Veneta, Or.  Smith was transported to Three Rivers Hospital in Grants Pass and once he was medically cleared, he was transported by USFS law enforcement to the Curry County Jail and lodged on Arson in the First-Degree x 2 and Reckless Burning. Smith was also lodged on a Detention Warrant out of Lane County for probation violation.

The Curry County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all agencies who responded to assist in the fire control and detaining Trennon Smith for starting the fires.  The cooperation and partnership between all agencies when something like this occur is remarkable. The quick actions on getting the fires out most certainly averted a catastrophe and saved lives.  The total area burnt is less than one acre.  If the fires had not been contained and if they got out of control, they could have blocked all the residents and visitors from having an escape route.

The Curry County Sheriff’s Office will continue to investigate this matter and all information will be provided to the Curry County District Attorney, who may be working with the Federal agencies on this case.


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