Sheriff: Man says he started Kings County wildland fire because he wanted to be deported back to Mexico


KINGS COUNTY, California (KSEE/KGPE) — A 30-year-old man was arrested on three counts of felony arson for allegedly starting a fire near Kettleman City Sunday night, according to the Kings County Sheriff’s Department.

According to fire officials, the approximately 200-acre wildland fire was located on the north side of Highway 41 between Old Skyline Road and Interstate 5 — south of Kettleman City.

The Kings County Fire Department said when they arrived on the scene, 30-year-old Felipe Dejesus Acosta Castro approached them with his hands in the air and told fire officials he started the fire with a lighter in order to be arrested and wanted to be deported back to Mexico. 

Officials said Castro also removed his pants which had contained the lighter because the fire “had made his pants too hot to leave on.”

Fire officials said they were unable to locate Castro’s pants that contained the lighter, but they are attempting to locate them.

Castro was booked into Kings County Jail on three counts of felony arson. His bail was set at $130,000.

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