Deputies: Men shooting propane bottles started wildfire near Woo - KPTV - FOX 12

Deputies: Men shooting propane bottles started wildfire near Woodland

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Photo: Brent and Kathrine Murray Photo: Brent and Kathrine Murray
WOODLAND, WA (KPTV) -

A wildfire that burned more than 100 acres near Woodland was started by three men shooting propane bottles, according to deputies.

The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office on Saturday said the men, all Vancouver residents, started the Colvin Creek Fire just east of Woodland on July 19 by shooting four 16 ounce propane bottles with firearms. 

Investigators said they were using a .223 caliber AR rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a 9 mm pistol. The .223 rifle was seized as evidence.

The suspects were identified as 22-year-old Michael J. Estrada-Cardenas, 21-year-old Nathan C. Taylor and 23-year-old Adrian D. Taylor. They were booked in jail on the charge of first-degree reckless burning and held without bail.

The suspects told investigators they brought the propane bottles from Vancouver up to the woods off of Frederickson Road to shoot them.

The suspects said the fire started when they shot the bottles, according to the sheriff's office, and while they put the flames out initially, they left the scene even though small burning embers remained on the ground.

The fire, which burned in steep terrain on state-owned timberland, got close to several homes, but was driven away from the buildings by firefighters, helicopters and air tankers, with the assistance from easterly winds.

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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