TACOMA, Wash. - Troopers arrested a man Thursday after someone spotted him lighting the grass on fire along SR-512 and SR-7. It's the second such arrest in Pierce County in two days as wildfires rage on the West Coast.
Trooper Ryan Burke with Washington State Patrol said the man was using a match to ignite the grass. He was caught after a short foot chase.
“You can’t make this stuff up," Burke said.
Burke said it happened at a busy intersection that's often used for panhandling.
A 29-year-old Tacoma man was standing at the intersection when he reportedly looked at the cars, lit a match, tossed it into the dry grass and waved.
The fire was small and was extinguished quickly.
The arrest comes a day after troopers arrested another man for lighting a fire along SR-167 in Puyallup.
That 36-year-old man told troopers he was in the area looking for his camera. He also went live on his Facebook page to tell people that he came across the fire while traveling in the opposite direction and pulled over to call it in. (See the livestream below)
Both arsons happened as firefighters in Pierce County struggle to get control of the Sumner Grade fire, which has burned more than 800 acres and was only 20 percent contained Thursday morning.
East Pierce firefighters said the thick smoke, steep terrain and dense trees have made visibility difficult. What's even more taxing is the lack of resources: With deadly fires burning in California, Oregon and eastern Washington, East Pierce Fire is struggling to get the equipment they need to fight the Sumner Grade fire.
"We are making do with what we have," East Pierce Fire said on Twitter.
Click here for full coverage of wildfires on the West Coast.
*Warning: The livestream contains foul language.*