Texas volunteer firefighter accused of felony arson, setting brush fires

David Matthew Neet, a volunteer firefighter and EMS personnel, was arrested after being accused of setting multiple brush fires in the region.

The 44-year-old was arrested on July 5 by Brewster County Sheriff’s Officers in connection with a series of wildland fires that occurred beginning in 2023 until 2024. The initial investigation by the Brewster County Sheriff’s Office found the origins of these fires suspicious, leading to the involvement of Texas A&M Forest Service Law Enforcement investigators.

SUGGESTED: Gunman killed by Yellowstone rangers planned July 4 mass shooting, officials said

Neet is currently being held at the Brewster County Detention Center on a $300,000 bond, facing 20 counts of arson under Texas Penal Code 28.02 Arson F2.

Courtesy of Brewster County Sheriff's Office via Facebook

"We investigate wildland arson cases and work to bring those responsible to justice," stated Jarred Lemmon, Assistant Chief Law Enforcement Officer at Texas A&M Forest Service. "The success of this case would not have been possible without the diligent efforts of Brewster County Deputy Holquin."

FOX 26 Houston is now on the FOX LOCAL app available through Apple TV, Amazon FireTV, Roku, Google Android TV, and Vizio!

Texas A&M Forest Service is responsible for enforcing laws related to the protection of forests and woodlands and prosecuting violators. Arson is considered a state jail felony in Texas, carrying penalties of up to two years in a state jail facility and a fine of up to $10,000.

Since January 1, 2024, Texas A&M Forest Service Law Enforcement personnel have responded to 70 wildfire investigations and 48 timber theft complaints, highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by the state in combating wildland crimes.