By CBSLA Staff

VENTURA (CBSLA) — The public’s help is needed to catch an arsonist who has been targeting farm equipment and infrastructure in Ventura and Oxnard.

The latest arson fire happened Monday at about 11 p.m. in the agricultural fields next to the 2100 block of Knoll Drive. Firefighters responding to the scene found large flames and so much smoke that it was visible from most of Ventura and Oxnard.

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(credit: Ventura Fire Department)

Most of the calls reporting the fire came from vehicles driving on the nearby 101 Freeway, so the exact location of the fire was not initially known. And when the fire’s source was finally located, firefighters had to get through chain link fences and locked gates to reach the scene.

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At the scene firefighters found a large trailer containing rolls of polyethylene sheeting used in farming fully engulfed in flames, next to a stack of pallets and a tractor. After the fire was put out, firefighters determined that the tractor sustained minimal damage, but the losses from the fire were determined between $15,000 and $20,000.

Fire investigators say this is the latest in a string of suspected arson fires targeting farming equipment in Ventura and Oxnard. Monday’s fire happened in the jurisdiction of the county, so Ventura County Fire and the sheriff’s department are also involved in the investigation.

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Anyone with information about suspicious behavior or recent arson fires can contact the non-emergency line at the Ventura County Fire Arson unit at (805-384-4774.