Mesa Verde man arrested after setting several structures ablaze

MESA VERDE, Calif. — Authorities say a man was arrested after allegedly setting several separate brush and structure fires in the area of Mesa Drive and Blythe Way, in the unincorporated area of Mesa Verde, Friday morning, April 30.


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Colorado River Station deputies responded to reports of a brush fire burning off the dirt extension of Mesa Drive at 9:16 a.m., Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Bryan Berryman later said of the incident and arrest.

When deputies arrived in the area, they located several separate brush and structure fires burning.

Deputies who responded to reports of multiple arson-related fires burning in Mesa Verde arrested Daniel Alvarez, 30, after he fled from them on foot while carrying a blowtorch. RSO booking photo

While firefighters worked to extinguish the multiple blazes, deputies spotted Daniel Vaca Alvarez, 30, of Mesa Verde, fleeing from the area “with a propane blowtorch in hand,” Berryman described.

“After a brief foot pursuit, Alvarez was detained and arrested,” said Berryman.

Based on the circumstances, Cal-Fire Fire Prevention Officers/Arson Investigators responded to the scene and ultimately assumed the investigation.

Alvarez was later booked into the Blythe Jail on suspicion of multiple counts of arson of a structure, forest land or property, violation of arson statutes during a state of emergency, and possession of an incendiary device.

Online jail records indicate Alvarez remains in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail or bond.

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Deputy Showalter at (760) 921-7900. Callers can refer to incident file number A211200013 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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