CLARKRIDGE, Ar. – Deputies in Baxter County, Arkansas said a man they arrested Friday was deliberately starting fires by lighting paper on fire and throwing it out of his pickup window.

According to a news release from the Sheriff’s Department, on Thursday, Oct. 13 a witness reported seeing a pickup truck parked on County Road 36 in Baxter County and then saw a fire in the ditch. That witness also described the man in the truck to deputies.

That same day, fire crews and the Sheriff’s Department were called to a fire on Highway 201 and then were alerted to several other fires in the area.

Another witness called the Sheriff’s office the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 14, and this time the witness said they saw a man setting paper on fire and throwing it out of the window of his vehicle. That witness followed the vehicle into Ozark County, Missouri, and called the sheriff there. The witness said they saw the suspect go into a convenience store and buy alcohol and a newspaper.

It was then that deputies obtained a license plate number on the suspected vehicle and identified its owner. Deputies in Ozark County spotted the pickup, stopped it, and said they found Trenton Strain in the vehicle. Deputies said Strain was intoxicated and arrested him for DWI. Deputies said they also saw a lighter and wadded-up sheets of paper inside.

Investigators said a witness confirmed Strain’s vehicle was the one they originally reported.

Strain was arrested on suspicion of:

  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Refusing an intoxication test
  • Careless driving
  • Speeding
  • 14 counts of reckless burning
  • Arson

As of Monday morning, Strain was being held in the Baxter County jail.