A man suspected of causing a bushfire in California that has spread over thousands of hectares and caused widespread evacuation was arrested on Wednesday night, authorities said.
The man, Brandon N. McGlover, has been charged with five charges of arson in the wild, according to a press release by Cal Fire, a state-run fire department. The Cranston fire, as it is known, has spread rapidly over a mountainous area east of Los Angeles.
From 16.00. On Thursday, the fire had expanded to 7,500 acres, of which 5 percent were included, said Lyn Sieliet, spokeswoman for the United States Forest Service. Mr. McGlover, 32, is also accused, according to the press release, of launching several smaller fires.
"It's hot, it's dry and the terrain is very steep," said Mrs. Sieliet. "The humidity is low and there is a light breeze, so all these conditions contribute to it."
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 88 major fires are currently active in the United States. California has six, but further north there are 15 such fires in Oregon and 11 in Alaska. On Wednesday, a forest fire that penetrates into the Yosemite Valley, which today is 43,000 acres, forced the evacuation of visitors to the most popular time for tourists the National Park there. Last year, 44 people were killed in Californian forest fires, resulting in an estimated $ 10 billion destruction.
There were no known civilian or emergency personnel injuries at Cranston's fire, Sieliet said. On Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown of California declared the state of emergency in Riverside County because of the Cranston Fire. The explanation also applies to Shasta County in Northern California, where a 20,000 acre fire is burning.
Lt. Eric Dickson, a spokesman for the police department in Hemet, California, a town just west of Idyllwild, said the ministry officials found Mr. McGlover in his car after being warned to look for a white Honda sedan , The authorities found potential accelerants in the vehicle, said Lieutenant Dickson. McGlover, from Temecula, California, a town southwest of Idyllwild, had set his bail at $ 1 million, the lieutenant said.
On Thursday afternoon, about 2,500 homes were evacuated and nearly 700 forces mobilized the flames, Ms. Sieliet said. During the afternoon, winds blow east and northeast.
Tony Allen, owner of the Bluebird Cottage Inn, located in the San Jacinto Mountains, said he and 15 guests left the area on Wednesday when the fire spread northeast of his location about a mile south of his Business.
The fire destroyed five houses in the area, according to the Forest Service, but Mr. Allen said his inn was safe for now.
"The houses there were only ashes, there was not really anything left," he said. "It was kind of surreal."
The authorities expect additional charges against Mr. McGlover, Capt. Fernando Herrera, a spokesman for Cal Fire. In California, Arson has been punished with up to six years in prison
Matt Kraemer, a headmaster in Idyllwild, said the school mobilized buses to evacuate summer campers to a building about 40 km away. Mr. Kraemer said the fire is on its way to destroy his school until it drifts with the wind in another direction.
"It really bothers me," he said, "that someone is as evil as it does so much damage and endangers so many."