Man arrested after Marin County wildfire forces evacuations

A Petaluma man was arrested Tuesday after he told a fire official that he started a small fire in Marin County above Spirit Rock, The Chronicle reported.

According to police, Henry Walker, 73, flagged down a Marin County Fire official near the Spirit Rock Meditation Center and said that he started the fire. Walker sustained minor injuries trying to put out the blaze.

The Marin County Fire Department ordered evacuations for the area of Rancho Santa Margarita East as the fire spread. That evacuation has since been lifted as of 6:10 p.m., according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.

The fire department said that the wildfire, which has grown from five acres to 10-12 acres, is 60 percent contained just after 6 p.m., stating that the forward progress of the fire has been stopped.

At 4:42 p.m., the fire department posted to Twitter about the fire, initially saying that evacuations weren’t in place, but reversed that decision minutes later.

“Out of an abundance of caution, an evacuation warning is in place for the area of Rancho Santa Margarita East,” the fire department posted just before 5 p.m.

The Ross Valley Fire Department and Cal Fire are assisting in battling the blaze.

This story is developing and will be updated as details emerge.

Drew Costley is an SFGATE editorial assistant. Email: | Twitter: @drewcostley

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