A Ukiah man driving a stolen motorcycle crashed into a hillside near Boonville Saturday afternoon, causing the engine to ignite and triggering a 24-acre vegetation fire, according to authorities.
The suspect fled into the woods but was spotted at a nearby ranch about five hours later and apprehended, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
Marcelino Anguiano, 35, was booked into the Mendocino County jail on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle, recklessly causing a fire, giving false identification to a police officer and being under the influence of a controlled substance, sheriff’s officials said.
Just before the crash, the Boonville owner of the motorcycle had been following Anguiano as he drove on Highway 253, officials said. The owner had not yet reported the vehicle stolen.
Fire officials said 50 firefighters responded to the fire, along with a helicopter and tanker plane. The cost of battling the fire is estimated at more than $58,000.