ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was a frantic scene as the fire department tried to put out all the flames while police tried to catch the suspect. She was identified as Cristina Castorena-Noble. She’s accused of setting a dozen fires in the bosque back in May. 

Plumes of smoke coming out of the bosque prompted first responders to act quickly, searching for both the fires and Castorena-Noble.

A lapel video from the arresting Albuquerque police officer shows the moment Castorena-Noble was spotted after being suspected of starting the fires.

“Hey, police stop, get on the ground. get down, get down now, get down. Turn around, turn around,” said the responding APD officer. Upon being detained and escorted out of the bosque, the now 47-year-old, accused of starting the 12 fires just south of the Hispanic Cultural Center, gave her reasoning for doing so.

“I’m looking for my missing children and my mom and dad, I was calling for life support. I have no f****** phone what else did you want me to do,” said Castorena-Noble.

With Castorena-Noble in custody, first responders had an even bigger job to put out the fires.

“It just popped back up again; it’s still spreading. I mean that one look how much further southeast it is now,” said a responding APD officer. The situation also shows what officers and fire officials dealt with on the day after seeing an increase in reports of fires in the bosque, but Castorena-Noble kept stressing to officers her innocence.

“I didn’t start the fire.”


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Castorena-Noble was evaluated for competency and a judge ruled she is competent to stand trial. That same day as the dozen fires, another person was arrested for throwing things at the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office helicopter. His case was later dismissed.