MONTEREY COUNTY - On August 18, 2020, at about 8:00 p.m. a wildland fire started near Highway 1 in John Little State Natural Reserve. An alert California State Parks peace officer detained a man near an area where the fire started.
Monterey County Sheriff’s detectives responded to the scene and arrested Ivan Geronimo Gomez, 30, of Fresno in connection with the fire.
Gomez was booked into the Monterey County Jail on the charges of arson. His bail was set at $2 million.
“It is heartbreaking to think that someone would deliberately set fire to land with the potential of destroying homes, endangering lives, and depleting our already stretched resources,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Thanks to a state park ranger who was in the area and looking out for park visitors and the surrounding community, a suspect is in custody.”