LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – Valencia County deputies have arrested a suspect in Tuesday’s arson fire in the bosque near Los Lunas. The Ditto Fire started burning in Los Lunas near Main Street east of the Rio Grande. As of Wednesday night, the fire was just under seven acres in size and is 40% contained.
The Valencia County Fire Department’s Facebook page reports that several homes were threatened Tuesday night as the fire spread north however no homes are actively threatened. A family that was evacuated was able to return home as crews reduced the threat.
When firefighters initially arrived at the scene of the fire, they say they found Johnathan Barnard. Officers say Barnard admitted to starting the fire with a lighter and said he “wanted to see if they could put it out.” The Los Lunas Police Department reports Barnard was arrested and charged with one count of felony arson and has been booked into the Valencia County Detention Center.
No one was injured as a result of the fire. As of Wednesday evening, the Valencia County Fire Department reports that all resources have been pulled out due to gusty winds and dangerous conditions due to trees falling. The bosque is closed to the public as firefighters clear conditions in the area.