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Petaluma man arrested on suspicion of Reckless Burning and causing Spirit Fire

Suspect identified:

Henry Walker, age 73 from Petaluma, CA.

On August 27th, 2019 around 4:11PM, Marin County Fire and Deputies from the Marin County Sheriff's Office responded to reports of a fire on the ridge above Spirit Rock Meditation Center, 5000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd in Woodacre, CA. 

Deputies arrived in the area along with fire personnel from Marin County Fire, Cal Fire, Ross Valley Fire, San Rafael Fire and multiple air assets. Evacuation warnings were issued for the area of Rancho Santa Margarita East in conjunction with the fire starting to spread and as crews arrived on scene. 

While in the area of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, a Marin County Fire Battalion Chief was flagged down by Henry Walker. Walker claimed to have started the fire on the ridge. A Deputy spoke with Walker, who had minor injuries from attempting to stomp out the fire. Walker admitted to setting personal effects on fire while on the ridge, but the fire grew out of control and he was unable to put the fire out.

Walker was arrested and booked into the Marin County Jail for the following charge:

452(c) PC - Reckless Burning - Felony

The evacuation warning for the fire was lifted around 6:30PM. The fire is currently 60% contained and holding at approximately 16 acres.

No further information will be released at this time.

Contact: Sergeant Brenton Schneider at or (628)888-9398.