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Last month, a 63-year-old Twisp man was arrested and booked for first degree Arson for lighting a back burn fire near 190 Benson Creek Road. At that time the man was contacted and told by fire crews not to light the back burn because it was unsafe. He lit the fire anyway and was subsequently arrested.
On Tuesday that man, Larry D. Smith was arrested again for First Degree Arson for setting a second back burn fire which destroyed Forest Service Property and property belonging to 234 Benson Creek Road. Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said owners of property in the area have photos of Smith lighting the fire.
On Monday night, 60-year-old Keith V. Strickland, of Twisp was also arrested on two counts of First Degree Arson.
Rogers said Strickland was with Smith when they let the back burn at 234 Benson Creek Road, causing the damage to the property. Smith was also arrested and charged with a second Arson charge for lighting another fire on Finley Canyon and Konrad Road.
The Sheriff said Strickland was contacted by fire crews and asked not to start any fires because they were there to fight the one fire and put out trucks for structure protection.
Fire crews stated that then watched Strickland light the fire. Strickland was booked into the Okanogan County Jail on Monday night. Smith was booked on Tuesday.