ANAHEIM, Calif. – An arsonist was arrested lighting brush fires that could have proved devastating in Anaheim had it not been for quick work to extinguish them. California wild fires have a history of wreaking havoc, particularly this time of year.
Gypsum Canyon Brush Fires
Monday evening just after 6:00 pm, personnel from Anaheim Fire & Rescue, Orange County Fire Authority, and Orange City Fire responded to a vegetation fire south of the SR91 freeway and west of Gypsum Canyon Rd. Additional ground and air resources were requested from Cal Fire and the US Department of Forestry.
More than 70 Firefighters, along with one helicopter and two air tankers worked together and stopped the forward progress of the Gypsum Fire in under one hour. The fire was held to approximately four acres and no structures were threatened or damaged.
While crews were busy containing the Gypsum Fire, additional calls were received regarding a male suspect seen lighting brush fires along the south side of the SR91 freeway west of the Gypsum Fire. That suspect was contacted and detained by officers from the California Highway Patrol. He was ultimately arrested by investigators from Anaheim Police Department, said Sgt. Daron Wyatt. He was booked for three counts of arson.
The suspect has been identified as Victor Luis Flores, a 22 year old transient. He was booked at the Anaheim Detention Facility and will be held on the statutorily set bail of $70,000 as well as a $20,000 narcotics warrant. Based on the circumstances, investigators will request the bail be increased to $250,000.
While the cause of the Gypsum Fire has not yet been determined, it is suspected the fire was intentionally set. As such, investigators are requesting anyone who may have witnessed the start of the Gypsum Fire, or who believe they saw anything suspicious near the area of Santa Ana Canyon Rd and Gypsum Canyon Rd at approximately 6:00 pm Monday evening, to contact Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS or by email at www.occrimestoppers.org.
Fortunately no injuries were reported while extinguishing the lethal brush fires.
Tonner Canyon Fire
Later, a half-acre fire at Tonner Canyon Road and Brea Boulevard outside of Brea was extinguished about 9:40 p.m., said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Larry Kurtz.
The fire started at the base of the hillside and raced up the dry slope, Kurtz said. A trucking company at the top of the hill was evacuated as a precaution, but no structures were damaged, reported the Orange County Register.
Toner Canyon – OCFA, Brea & Fullerton FD on scene of a 1/2 acre grass fire on Tonner Canyon & Brea Blvd. Forward progress stopped. pic.twitter.com/8d2zJzO9Bl
— OCFA PIO (@OCFA_PIO) July 4, 2017
About 50 firefighters from OCFA, Brea Fire and Fullerton Fire were on scene.
Brea Boulevard at Tonner Canyon Road was temporarily closed while crews continued to mop and monitor the fire, Kurtz said. The cause of that fire was under investigation.
(Photo Orange County Fire Authority Twitter)