Cal Fire Announces Arrests of Two Suspected Arsonists in Lincoln-Area Fires

LINCOLN -- Investigators announced Wednesday that two men suspected of starting fires in Placer County in 2017.

Kyle Jeptha Bridgman, 33 (Credit: Placer County Sheriff's Office)

Cal Fire says 33-year-old Kyle Jeptha Bridgman confessed to setting five fires in the Lincoln area between June and August of last year.

Bridgman owned a home on Canal Road in rural Lincoln. According to one neighbor, Bridgman was always willing to help those who lived nearby, even helping to fix the gravel road when it became riddled with potholes.

"Looked out for everybody and us older people. And checked on us and made sure that nobody was going to take advantage of us," said neighbor Rhada Dewayne.

A news release from Cal Fire says they worked with the FBI and the Placer County Sheriff's Office to identify Bridgman as the alleged arsonist. He was booked into jail and is being held on $160,000 bail.

According to online court records and confirmed by Lincoln police, this was not the first time Bridgman has been arrested for arson. In the summer of 2010, the then 25-year-old was arrested and later pleaded guilty to arson and resisting arrest after an incident on B Street in Lincoln.

It's a prior that Cal Fire says could weigh heavily given the latest charges.

"That could stack onto the charges and lead to a longer prison term depending on what they are," said Mike Mohler with Cal Fire.

Gregory Scott Courtney, 30 (Credit: Placer County Sheriff's Office)

While investigating Bridgman, Cal Fire says investigators identified another man suspected of arson, 30-year-old Gregory Scott Courtney out of Yuba City, who was arrested in August.

Courtney is suspected of setting a number of spot fires in Placer County.

"Completely unrelated but fortunate that investigators are able to glean onto those fires in those areas. But completely unrelated," Mohler said commenting on the two suspected arsonists.

Cal Fire spokeswoman Mary Eldridge said the fires could have quickly gotten out of hand were it not for quick responses from firefighters.