Yucaipa arson suspect was a fire explorer — but dropped out, officials say – California News

Yucaipa arson suspect was a fire explorer — but dropped out, officials say – California News


A Yucaipa man charged with arson in a spate of fires in the San Bernardino Mountains and foothills had participated in a fire explorer program through the Boy Scouts of America and San Manuel Fire Department, officials have confirmed.

Jarrod Anthony Samra, 23, was charged Monday with nine felony counts of arson and arson causing great bodily injury in connection with eight wildland arson fires from July 7 through Aug. 3. He faces 19 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Altogether, the eight fires linked to Samra scorched about 930 acres in Mentone, Highland, San Bernardino and Devore and injured three firefighters, authorities said.

Samra pleaded not guilty to the alleged crimes during his Aug. 7 arraignment, and will appear again Tuesday in San Bernardino Superior Court for a pretrial hearing. His preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Thursday. He remains incarcerated at the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center in Devore, with bail set at $2 million.

Samra was registered with the Boy Scouts of America’s Fire Explorer program from December 2011 through December 2013, which the San Manuel Fire Department hosted, said Joe Daniszewski, scout executive CEO for the California Inland Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Samra, however, was never a Cub Scout or Boy Scout, Daniszewski said in a telephone interview.

Jacob Coin, spokesman for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, said in an email that the Fire Department’s records show Samra may have been dropped from the program due to inactivity. He said the Fire Department has hosted fire training through the Boy Scouts’ Fire Explorer program since…

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