Leon Eddy

Leon Eddy

Bishop man in jail with bail set at $100,000  

A 25-year-old Bishop man was arrested Wednesday evening after admitting to a CalFIRE arson investigator and an Inyo County Sheriff’s deputy to starting the Rattlesnake Fire near Independence Wednesday afternoon, according to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect, Leon Eddy, was located in the area at approximately 6:17 p.m. when he reportedly told the investigator and deputy that he had started the blaze.

Eddy was booked into the Inyo County Jail on a felony arson charge. Bail has been set at $100,000.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday received information of a brush fire above Independence, north-east of Lower Grays Meadow Campground. Fire personnel responded and the Sheriff’s Office initiated an evacuation order for Lower and Upper Grays Meadow campgrounds and Seven Pines area.

Strong winds Wednesday afternoon began pushing the blaze towards the Lower and Upper Grays Meadow campgrounds as well as Seven Pines, which prompted the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office to evacuate them.

The Inyo National Forest reported Wednesday evening that the Rattlesnake fire was estimated at around 25 acres. Crews, engines, dozers and three retardant drops have helped the fire to slow its progress.

However, as of Thursday morning, agencies reported all evacuations had been lifted.

CALFIRE reported that the fire did not grow overnight. As cool temperatures set in, the fire behavior moderated allowing firefighters to get a more accurate acreage. This lead the fire to be reduced to 4.9 acres. Crews were able to make good progress overnight Wednesday and listed the fire at 25 percent contained with more expected at the end of the day Thursday.

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