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A 48-year-old man suspected of starting 10 brush fires in rapid succession in Cathedral City pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony arson charges.

Jose Hernandez is facing 10 arson charges and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

Officers and fire crews responded Friday morning to the 68400 block of Dinah Shore Drive to reports of a man starting fires along the road, according to the Cathedral City Police Department.

According to authorities, several witnesses reported seeing Hernandez start three separate brush fires before he went under the Dinah Shore Bridge, where police say he allegedly started seven additional blazes.

Hernandez was arrested near the west end of the bridge.

All the fires were extinguished by Cathedral City fire crews. There was no damage to any structures or personal property.

Cathedral City police Sgt. Daniel Anes told City News Service that Hernandez had been arrested two weeks earlier on suspicion of throwing a rock into Boy’s Hamburgers along Ramon Road. Hernandez pleaded guilty to a vandalism charge July 13 and was sentenced to two years of probation. He was arrested for the alleged arsons two days later.

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