Members of the Oasis Rural Fire District responded to the blaze at the Oasis Event Center around 2:30 p.m. and were able to contain the blaze within 30 minutes, said district fire chief Bob Ruth.
The fire burned 10 acres of land immediately west of the Oasis Event Center and caused some minor property damage. According to initial reports, the blaze didn't cause any structural damage to the event center complex, Ruth said.
"It doesn't appear this was accidental; it appears this was deliberate," said Detective Capt. Clint Andrus from the Elmore County Sheriff's Department.
Andrus believes that those responsible used a cigarette or barbecue grill lighter to ignite a patch of dry grass near the event center since there were no matches or other ignition devices found at the scene.
An eyewitness reported seeing a vehicle leaving the event center at a high rate of speed shortly before the fire was reported. While the eyewitness was unable to provide a detailed description of the vehicle in question, they indicted that it appeared to have out-of-county license plates, Andrus said.
Sheriff's investigators are currently looking at a number of persons of interest in connection with the case.
The sheriff's department is also asking for the public's help in the case. To file a report, people should call the county dispatch office at 587-2100 and ask to speak to an investigator. People may remain anonymous if they wish.