THOUSAND OAKS : No Charges Filed in Suspected Arson

A 20-year-old transient who was arrested on suspicion of starting a 150-acre brush fire in Thousand Oaks has been released without any charges being filed against him, authorities said Saturday.

Billy Houser was arrested Oct. 30 on suspicion of arson and auto theft after he was found near a pickup truck he had driven to a dirt road near Cresthaven Drive in the North Ranch area of Thousand Oaks.

Heat from the truck's exhaust system ignited dry brush, and gusting winds spread the fire downwind.

Jail officials did not know whether any charges would be filed against Houser at a later date, and officials in the district attorney's office were not available for comment.

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