Lake County (CBS13) — Lake County resident, Juan Ramos Silva, was arrested over the weekend for allegedly causing fire at his residence in the area of the Jerusalem Fire.

On Sunday around 5:45 p.m., officers arrested Silva, who admitted to starting a fire on his property in the 15000 block of Spruce Grove Road, in an attempt to conduct a “controlled burn” so the Jerusalem fire would not reach his residence.

Deputies noticed the fire close to their location and responded to Silva’s residence, where they noticed large marijuana grow site within 50 feet of the residence. Several witnesses told deputies that Silva had started the fire.

Silva told Lake County deputies he had been a firefighter in Mexico, and that he started the fire to protect his home from the fire; however, deputies believe Silva started the fire behind his marijuana grow to protect his plants.

Silva was booked into Lake County Hill Road Correctional Facility on charges of causing a fire to a structure and/or forest.

According to Cal Fire, the Jerusalem Fire was threatening several residents and has grown to approximately 5,000 acres. A mandatory evacuation was set Sunday.