Odessa Man Accused of Starting Grassfires On Purpose

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

With our dangerously dry conditions, it's the last thing you'd expect someone to do. Start a grassfire on purpose but that's exactly what an Odessa man is accused of doing and more than once.

Authorities have been suspicious of 63-year-old Jimmie Farris for a while.

They had a gut feeling he was going around setting fires, so they set a trap.

We're told authorities followed Farris to the Windham Ranch off FM 1788 in south Midland County.

He was spotted by an Ector County Deputy, leaving a lease road, just after a fire had ignited.

That's when he was arrested.

A whole team has been keeping their eye on him, the Midland, Ector, Andrews, and Crane County Sheriff's Offices, the Midland and Odessa Fire Marshal's office, the Permian Basin Oilfield Theft Task Force and the Texas Forest Service.

Farris has been charged with arson.

Right now, he's only facing charges for starting the blaze on Wednesday in Midland County, but Farris is suspected of starting several more around the Basin.

Farris remains at the Midland County Detention Center.