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Machete wielding arsonist suspected of burning homes, vegetation

Source: Francis Gill / Facebook

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office is reporting that a woman carrying a machete started several fires in Montague, Saturday morning.

According to fire officials, as of 8:00 p.m. the fire had burned 27 acres, and was 100 percent contained, and forward progress has been stopped. The Sheriff's Office noted that at least two structures and a pick-up truck were destroyed.

The sheriff's office is reporting that the first call came in around 1:10 p.m. and a witness reported a woman was outside a burning home in the 4800 block of Ager Road carrying a machete.

The suspect, later identified as Veronika S. Farago, 38, of Almeda, was reportedly seen running from the burning home and starting additional fires in the dry grass.

About 20 minutes later, a deputy was able to take Farago into custody. The deputy reported that Farago brandished the machete while resisting arrest. Farago had injuries that were reportedly inflicted prior to her arrest. She was taken to an area hospital.

Officials say that evidence and statements indicate the suspect may have used gasoline to set fire to the first home.

“We are fortunate the fires engulfing the home, nearby structure, vehicle and surrounding hillside did not spread and cause more damage, especially to other nearby parcels. This was largely due to the rapid apprehension of the alleged arsonist and the quick and decisive actions of state and local firefighters," said Sheriff Jon Lopey.

Lopey noted that there is no indication the structures were occupied, but they are still working to confirm that.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to contact the 24-hour Dispatch Center at 530-841-2900.

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