A man suspected of intentionally setting a series of fires in Lompoc has been formally charged with arson in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.
Ismael Zaragoza Chavez, 39, a transient, was arrested early Sunday following a string of fires in the city.
The arsonist had set a vehicle, a backyard shed and several dumpsters on fire, police said.
The incidents occurred on the 300 block of North 2nd Street, the 900 block of East Oak Avenue, and the 1400 block of the East Lemon Avenue/North Avenue alley.
Officers contacted Chavez in the area, and found evidence that indicated he was responsible for starting the blazes, police said.
On Tuesday, the District Attorney’s Office filed four felony criminal charges against Chavez.
Three of the charges were related to incidents that occurred Sept. 13 and another stemmed from a Sept. 10 fire.
Lompoc firefighters and police have been dealing with a number of intentionally set blazes around the city in recent months.
During his arraignment hearing Tuesday, Chavez pleaded not guilty and was ordered to return Sept. 29, when attorneys and the judge may set a date for his preliminary hearing.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Chavez remained in the custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail, with bail set at $50,000.