Fresno fire investigators still looking into string of Monday blazes

The Fresno BeeJune 24, 2014 

Fresno firefighters douse the remains of a fire that was burning in the downtown area just south of Highway 180 between H Street and Van Ness Avenue on June 23, 2014.

MARK CROSSE — THE FRESNO BEE Buy Photo

Fresno Fire Department investigators Tuesday continued to look into two fires which broke out Monday night along the Highway 180 corridor and have not determined whether they were the work of arsonists. But spokesman Koby Johns said that dozens of blazes have erupted along the highway in dry grass in recent weeks that are also under scrutiny.

Johns said the area close to the highway is accessible from nearby neighborhoods and commercial property. It's also possible that something such as a cigarette thrown from a car could have started some of the fires.

"We've got some good leads and are tracking down suspects," Johns said.

Monday's vegetation fires were set within a 20-minute span along Highways 180 and 99 in downtown Fresno. A third fire was set near California and Cedar avenues around the same time, but fire officials weren't sure whether it was related. Later in the evening, a fourth vegetation fire was reported at Olive Avenue and Highway 41.

Anyone with information regarding the cause of Monday's fires is asked to call the Fire Department at (559) 621-4000.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6339, jguy@fresnobee.com or @jimguy27 on Twitter.

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