OGDEN -- Authorities again are asking for the public's help after three early-morning blazes Monday, two of which point to possible connection with a recent string of suspected arson.
According to a news release from the Ogden Fire Department, crews responded to the largest of the two suspicious fires around 5:20 a.m., near a green waste disposal site close to Park Boulevard and Monroe Boulevard.
Crews extinguished the grass fire -- which was aided by a large fuel load of vegetation, dry conditions and canyon winds -- before it reached the disposal site. The fire burned two to three acres and damaged some power poles, but no one was injured.
It was the 11th suspicious grass fire Ogden firefighters have extinguished in just over a week. Many of those fires happened near the Ogden Parkway Trail System, which is adjacent to Monday's fire, causing investigators to believe they may all be related.
Monday morning's other suspicious fire happened around 3:30 a.m., in a dumpster at 2358 Quincy Ave. According to the release, crews arrived to find the
Dumpster fully engulfed in flames. The fire was extinguished before a nearby building was damaged, though it was threatened.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Ogden Fire Department Deputy Chief Eric Bauman said it could be related to the fire at the disposal site.
The fires were just a few blocks away from one another.
Authorities have been searching for a possible arsonist since Aug. 11, when the first in the series of fires popped up. However, Bauman said, the investigation, which has included regular police patrols near the trail system, has yielded few leads and no suspects.
"It's frustrating," Bauman said. "What's hard for us is where these fires are is so dry. They can spread so quickly."
None of the fires have caused injuries or damage to any buildings. However, it's just a matter of time until one of them does cause serious harm if the fires continue, Bauman said.
"That's what we're trying to prevent," he said. "We are certainly doing everything we can."
Bauman said Ogden firefighters have encountered serial arson in the past. A few years ago, a culprit was caught after a series of fires similar to the current blazes. Some of those fires were much larger, though they weren't happening as often as the current string of fires.
"Everything we do, we're just asking for the public to report suspicious behavior," Bauman said. "It's going to take someone seeing this individual in the act or seeing something suspicious."
Earlier Monday morning, around 1:30 a.m., firefighters responded to a blaze at a vacant duplex, at 2705 D Ave., according to the release. Flames were coming from the downstairs windows when crews arrived, but they extinguished the fire in about 20 minutes. Damage was estimated at about $25,000, though no one was hurt.
Bauman said the cause is being investigated, but there was nothing to indicate it was related to the suspected arson.
Anyone with information regarding the suspicious fires is urged to call 801-395-8221.