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LOS ANGELES – More than 3,000 people have been evacuated when a deliberate wildfire raced through dry Southern California mountainous terrain, authorities said Thursday.
Cranston Fire grew to 7,500 acres in just 30 hours after being stigmatized on Wednesday at noon (3 pm ET) in the San Jacinto Mountains in the San Bernardino National Forest, east of Los Angeles, according to the California Forest and Fire Authority Fire set had protection. About 3,200 residents were evacuated by more than 2,1
The fire caused such a huge cloud of smoke to rise that it created its own weather system and the area was covered in lightning, according to the National Weather Service.
Brandon N. McGlover, 32, of Temecula, south of Los Angeles, was arrested Thursday at the Cois M. Byrd detention center in Murrieta on suspicion of fivefold arson in connection with the Cranston Fire and an undetermined number of other arrested fires the National Park Service. The prison records did not include a lawyer who could comment on behalf of McGlover.
A joint incident agency for local and federal armed forces said the fire was only 5 percent late Thursday afternoon. At least two highways and numerous campgrounds and trails were closed when nearly 700 firefighters attacked the fire.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Riverside County because, according to the authorities, around 600 homes were in immediate danger in extremely hot, dry conditions.
"We Peel It All Off It was apocalyptic." William Blodgett of Idyllwild, a city of approximately 12,000 people most directly threatened, reported NBC Los Angeles.
The local air quality management area issued a smoke reference until Friday morning, warning of unhealthy amounts of smoke and ashes.
No injuries were reported.