Sheriff: Man arrested for reckless burning in connection with Roach Fire

Posted at 6:33 AM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 09:38:32-04

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office says they have arrested a man for reckless burning in connection with the Roach Fire that destroyed several structures earlier this month.

Deputies say they arrested James Brumley after fire investigators were able to trace the fire back to his property. Investigators said a smoldering burn pile was re-ignited because of winds and spread from there. The fire burned more than 300 acres and destroyed 14 structures, including one occupied residence and four unoccupied residences. 

The cost in fighting the fire exceeded more than a million dollars, with close to a million dollars in damage and financial loss as well, according to deputies.

Deputies learned during their investigation that the fire may have been human caused that started out as a controlled burn which got out of control. Statements from witnesses helped lead investigators to Brumley's residence, deputies said. 

Brumley denied starting the fire and was booked into jail on reckless burning and five counts of criminal damage.