Suspected arsonist arrested after starting grass fire at Wildcat Canyon Regional Park in Richmond

The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) logo. California (Photo courtesy East Bay Regional Park District)

Quick-thinking park visitors extinguished a small grass fire using their bottled water and reported a suspected arsonist Friday morning at Wildcat Canyon Regional Park near Richmond, authorities said.

A park user called police about 10 a.m. to report that a man, reportedly using a lighter, lit grass on fire near the Belgium Trail at the park, according to the East Bay Regional Park District police.

Park visitors quickly doused the small fire with their water and gave police a description of the suspect.

Police found the suspect in the park, where he was arrested on suspicion of arson. He was booked into Martinez Jail.

Fire crews also responded to keep an eye on the still smoldering grass, police said.

"Thanks to the community members who acted quickly to put out the fire and provided excellent information allowing officers to quickly locate and detain the suspect," parks police said in a post on Facebook.