Three WF Men Arrested for Arson

- For the second day, Texoma thermometers are rising into the triple digits. Combine high temperatures with dry conditions and water shortages and you've a recipe for disaster.

The danger increases even more when authorities say people are intentionally setting fires.

Three men were arrested early Thursday morning for arson. It's a crime fire and law enforcement officials say becomes more dangerous and deadly with water supplies falling daily.

The Wichita Falls travel center usually gets visitors during the day who only want information but early Thursday morning, Wichita County Sheriff's officials say there were some visitors who only wanted to cause what could have been a major problem, but were caught by a patrolling deputy.

"So, he made a u-turn and as he came back he noticed several little fires, spotty fires, and when he looked, he saw three young men running away. So, he got them stopped and placed them under arrest," says Melvin Joyner with the Wichita County Sheriff's Office.

Officials have identified the trio as 23 year old Charles Brown and 19 year olds Tajhae Moses and Dominic Pitts. All are from Wichita Falls and all are charged with arson/engaging in organized criminal activity.

With continually dropping lake levels and water for fighting fires a priority, sheriff's officials say the trio's actions could have created a catastrophe.

"You've got the river and all that vegetation along the river is very dry.  It wouldn't take much and once it's going it would be very hard to put out," Joyner adds.

Putting out fires is what Wichita Falls fire crews do and the department's interim chief says doing their job is now difficult, especially since conserving water is crucial.

"We're trying to make sure that we are good stewards of the water that we have to use but you know, if people like these three suspects wouldn't start fires we wouldn't have to use water to put them out," says Jon Reese, interim chief with the Wichita Falls Fire Department.

As for the three men arrested for arson, each remains in jail on $2,500 bonds.

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