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Several small fires set overnight in southern SLO

Kyle Murphy looks at the remains of a burned trash can as he walks his dogs Whinny, left, and Amber past picnic benches at Sinsheimer Park in San Luis Obispo on Tuesday.
Kyle Murphy looks at the remains of a burned trash can as he walks his dogs Whinny, left, and Amber past picnic benches at Sinsheimer Park in San Luis Obispo on Tuesday. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Investigators are searching for leads into who set a series of small fires in San Luis Obispo early Tuesday morning.

In total, nine fires appeared to be deliberately set shortly after midnight in the Sinsheimer Park area, San Luis Obispo Fire Marshal Rodger Maggio said. No buildings were involved and no one was injured.

On Tuesday evening, Fire Department investigators and San Luis Obispo police detectives had not identified any suspects, and it was not known how many people may have been involved.

At about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, the fire department responded to a report of two blazes along the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way just north of Orcutt Road.

Two engine companies arrived to discover a 500-square-foot section of vegetation in flames and a pile of railroad maintenance supplies burning on a wooden pallet a few hundred yards away, Maggio said.

As firefighters worked to extinguish those fires, a third engine company arrived and found two trash bins ablaze at separate locations near SLO Stadium at Sinsheimer Park, the fire marshal said.

Two more fires were later found simmering in the eucalyptus-lined creek that runs along the south side of the school bus barn on Southwood Drive.

San Luis Obispo fire crews, aided by Cal Fire, had the fires fully extinguished by 1 a.m.

Maggio said the fires immediately appeared to have been “hot set,” or ignited with an open flame directly to brush or other debris, and no evidence of accelerants or fuels were found.

He added that damage from the alleged arson was limited by the evening’s lower temperature and high humidity. Maggio said it was too soon to say how much, if any, monetary damage resulted from the fires.

As firefighters extinguished the flames, San Luis Obispo police officers quickly canvassed the area for suspects, but did not find anyone suspicious, police Capt. Chris Staley said Tuesday.

As of Tuesday evening, no witnesses have come forward, Staley added.

Anyone with information about the fires is asked to contact Maggio at 781-7386.

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