Man arrested on suspicion of starting fires in Butte County forest

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OROVILLE — Authorities in Northern California have arrested a man suspected of starting multiple fires in forest land in Butte County during a state of emergency last month.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says 35-year-old Jeremy Gendreau, of Oroville, was arrested Tuesday following a joint investigation involving the Butte County District Attorney’s Office, California State Parks, Oroville Police and Cal Fire.

Cal Fire says investigators began looking at Gendreau after receiving an anonymous tip through the agency’s arson hotline. He is being held on $1.95 million bail.

Gendreau allegedly started multiple fires in the Oroville area in September, when hot, dry and windy weather throughout Northern California led to planned power outages and some officials declaring a state of emergency.

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