Two suspected of starting Highway 1 fire while smoking meth, officials say

Two men, who authorities arrested over the weekend, are accused of starting a fire while smoking methamphetamine in dry grass along the Sonoma County coast Sunday afternoon.

Camp Meeker resident David Phillips, 56, and James Ware, 34, of Monte Rio are accused of starting the fire along Coleman Valley Road and Highway 1, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.

The fire was reported about 3:20 p.m. Sunday.

Authorities began searching for a pickup that was seen leaving the area of the fire.

A Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy, who was on his way to the fire, noticed the pickup along Highway 116, officials said.

After talking to the two men in the truck, the deputy searched the vehicle and found a variety of drugs and paraphernalia, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Also among the items found in the truck, officials said, were a variety of illicit drugs including 59 grams of fentanyl, 2 grams of cocaine, 47 grams of methamphetamine, 49 strips of suboxone, 47 tablets of oxycodone and 266 tablets of Xanax.

Phillips was arrested on suspicion of causing a fire and possessing drugs and paraphernalia, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Ware was also arrested on suspicion of causing a fire, drug possession and having an arrest warrant out of Santa Clara County for a traffic violation.

You can reach Staff Writer Mya Constantino at or 707-521-5220. On Twitter @searchingformya.

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