After three days of fires in and around Bishop, investigators zeroed in on three teenaged Bishop boys as the suspects.
Officers arrested Thomas Stone, 18, Jared Manga, 18 and a 16-year-old juvenile. All three suspects will face charges of arson and conspiracy. Bail for Stone and Manga remained at $250,000.
Fire broke out last Friday near the Paiute Cultural Center and was quickly put out by Bishop Volunteers. Another fire started at Brockman and Diaz lanes. Still another fire started Friday evening in what is known as Peoples’ Park behind the J Diamond Mobile Home Park. Volunteers quickly had that one under control and responded later to a small fire at the back of Bishop City Park.
Saturday night around 7:30, fire started in heavy brush and trees off See Vee Lane on the Bishop Indian Reservation. Volunteers got that one under control. About three hours later fire broke out in that same area again.
Investigators from the Inyo Sheriff, Cal Fire, Bishop Police and Bishop Fire focused on the three suspects. Sheriff Bill Lutze said, “These fires had the potential to cause major damage and potential loss of life, but the quick response by Bishop Fire and investigators avoided potential tragedy.”
Also assisting in the investigation and arrests were Inyo Sheriff’s deputies, Bishop Police and California Highway Patrol.