Bulletin
Investor Alert

Associated Press Archives | Email alerts

May 17, 2021, 2:48 p.m. EDT

Arson suspect arrested in LA wildfire that forced 1,000 evacuations

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An arson suspect was arrested in connection with a Los Angeles wildfire that forced evacuations in canyons where thick vegetation hasn’t burned in more than 60 years, authorities said Monday.

The man detained Sunday near the fire zone was being treated for smoke inhalation, said Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas. He did not identify the suspect or offer details about the investigation.

“We feel we have the right person,” Terrazas said at a news conference.

There was zero containment of the wildfire near Topanga State Park, but crews slowed its growth aided by cool, moist weather. By Monday, flames had charred just over 2 square miles (5.4 square kilometers) of trees and heavy brush.

No buildings were damaged and no injuries reported in the blaze that broke out late Friday in the Santa Monica Mountains. It grew rapidly Saturday — forcing about 1,000 Topanga Canyon area residents to flee their homes. Firefighting aircraft made water and retardant drops as flames raced along ridges, sending up a huge plume of smoke and raining ash across surrounding neighborhoods.

Evacuation orders remained in place and the fire was still threatening at least 500 homes, officials said.

An explosive wildfire so early in the year, especially in cool conditions with almost no wind, portends a difficult fire season ahead in a state that has seen very little rainfall, officials said.

“We really have to think about brush fires as a year-long challenge,” Terrazas said.

The cause of the fire in steep, inaccessible terrain had been deemed “suspicious” after officials noticed two ignition points about an hour apart, the Fire Department said.

Arson investigators detained and released one person on Saturday and a second person was questioned and then arrested on Sunday, the department said.

Topanga Canyon is a remote, wooded community with some ranch homes bordering Malibu, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of downtown Los Angeles.

This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In
Economy & Politics

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »

Partner Center

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.