Teen arrested for setting fires in Mamakating, town where massive brush fire started

Above: The Roosa Gap brush fire burns on the Shawangunk Ridge on Tuesday, May 5 as onlookers watch from Thornton Road in Wurtsboro. Photo by Michael Wentland. 

An 18-year-old Wurtsboro man has been arrested for setting fires in the Sullivan County town of Mamakating this spring, police say. 

A massive forest fire that consumed almost 3,000 acres in Sullivan and Ulster counties during the first week of May began in Mamakating on Sunday, May 3, but police have not directly linked this arrest to that fire, which is known as the Roosa Gap fire or the Shawangunk Ridge fire.

According to a New York State Police press release, New York State Forest Rangers, who handle brush fires like the Roosa Gap fire, were involved in the investigation. They determined that "someone had intentionally set several brush fires in and around the Town of Mamakating between mid-April and mid-May."

The 18-year-old who is under arrest is not being identified because he is eligible for youthful offender status, according to the press release. He is being charged with two counts of fifth degree arson, along with several misdemeanors, police say. Other charges are pending.

The press release does not say when the man was arrested. He was released and ordered to appear in the town of Mamakating court, the press release states.