Woman arrested in suspected Sonoma arson fire, unrelated to wildfires, sheriff says

Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick confirmed during a Monday press conference that a woman was arrested on suspicion of arson in the city of Sonoma, but he said the incident appeared to be a domestic dispute and not an effort to intentionally start a wildfire.

The woman was arrested after allegedly starting a fire at a residence on Napa Road late Sunday or early Monday morning, Essick said.

“It appears to be an isolated incident where the woman set a fire at a residence in retaliation for a domestic situation that was occurring,” Essick said during a 9 a.m. press briefing with Cal Fire in which authorities gave updates on the Kincade Fire. “We do not believe it was related to the overall fires … it was targeted at a residence.”

The Sonoma Index-Tribune reported that the apparent arson fire burned at least five vehicles and leveled two structures, including one home, but had been extinguished as of 7 a.m. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Spencer Crum told the Index-Tribune that an arson team was investigating the incident.

The identity of the suspect was not released by authorities.

Sonoma is in south Sonoma County, about 30 miles from Windsor, where aggressive fire activity was reported Sunday as part of the Kincade Fire.

The Kincade Fire ignited late Wednesday night in the hills east of Geyserville in north Sonoma County. As of Monday morning, it had spread to more than 66,000 acres amid historically gusty conditions that plagued much of Northern California.

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.