Hot Springs National Park (AR)
Three Arrested For Outstanding Warrants, Arson
Ranger Andy Griggs came upon an unoccupied suspicious vehicle on Blacksnake Road inside the park while on patrol on Friday, February 21st. A routine check on the vehicle’s tag indicated that the registered owner had extensive felony arrests on his record and that he was operating it with a suspended driver’s license.
This area of the park has been a popular area for "scrappers" looking for old bottles and other historic artifacts. Several archaeological sites are in this same area.
Chief Ranger John Hughes, Operations Supervisor Jeff Johnson, Ranger Clint Forte and his canine partner, “Saki,” responded. While waiting for additional park units to arrive, a single gunshot was heard from a distance.
Rangers searched the area for approximately an hour, eventually coming upon the owner of the vehicle and another man, who admitted that they had been looking in the area for items that could be taken to a scrap yard.
While the on-scene interviews were being conducted, a third man was found a short distance away from the truck. As he was being interviewed, a plume of smoke was seen coming from the mountainside in an area where he’d come from. The man admitted to starting the wildfire to draw attention to himself, as he felt that he was lost in the woods and hoped that his two companions would see the smoke and come to his aid.
NPS fire crews, Forest Service firefighters and Hot Springs Fire Department personnel responded to fight the fire. At the time, the area was under a burn ban, as the park had not received any measurable rain for quite some time and winds were gusting to approximately 20 mph with the relative humidity at 16%. By the time the fire was completely extinguished, an acre-and-a-half of park land had burned.
The man who started the fire will be charged in federal court once the case has been turned over to the US attorney. The other two men were both taken into custody, as they were both wanted on outstanding warrants from another jurisdiction.
Forte is the case agent for the arson; Jeff Johnson served as the incident commander for the fireThis signalling technique is not recommended
Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
Human Remains Found In Hermit Creek Drainage
Rangers recently recovered skeletal remains from the Hermit Creek drainage within Grand Canyon National Park. The remains have been confirmed by the Coconino County Medical Examiner as human.
These remains, which were found in an area with abandoned camping gear nearby, may be associated with the 2010 disappearance of a man from Tucson.
DNA testing is being conducted to positively identify the remains. An investigation is being conducted by the National Park Service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner.This is not that uncommon an occurrence at Grand Canyon