A California man was charged with one count of burning federal land without a permit in connection with eight small wildfires set near Flagstaff last week.
Mark Mastin, 40, is accused of setting the fires in the Coconino National Forest net). Officials said he has admitted to starting six.
Prosecutors say the charge is enough for them to keep Mastin in custody while they complete their investigation, and more charges could be filed. Authorities tracked Mastin through boot prints found at the fires' origin.
Mastin appeared before a judge Monday and, against his attorney's advice, repeatedly apologized for starting the fires and volunteered to clean up the damage. The judge had to counsel him to not make any more comments in court.
Fire crews have been kept busy lately responding to numerous reports of wildfires in and around Flagstaff. But they were faced with ten small arson fires Friday and Saturday about ten miles southeast of Flagstaff.
Some of the fires merged and came close to neighborhoods. In all, the fires burned about 11 acres.
Authorities say even though fire danger is high in the Coconino, the forest is open with no restrictions.