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Arson suspect arrested in Pacific Palisades fire

LOS ANGELES — An arson investigation into the Pacific Palisades fire, which started late Friday, has led to the arrest of a suspect, authorities said Monday.

Two people were questioned Saturday night about the fire, which has forced the evacuation of about 1,000 residents. One person was released, and the other — a man who has not been identified — was arrested Sunday afternoon, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said at a briefing at Will Rogers State Beach.

“The person in custody, we feel we have the right person,” Terrazas said.

The man was being treated for minor smoke inhalation, authorities said. A source told The Times that the suspect is a person experiencing homelessness who set multiple fires in the area in a deliberate act of arson.

When asked at the briefing whether the suspect was homeless, Terrazas answered: “I don’t know.”

 

A Los Angeles Police Department helicopter pilot spotted the suspect setting fires on Friday, but investigators were unable to locate the man on the ground because of smoke and heavy brush, according to law enforcement and fire department officials.

The official span of the fire is still at 1,325 acres, but it was unclear whether the blaze had spread overnight because the morning cloud cover temporarily grounded helicopters from flying over the burn area, authorities said.

—Los Angeles Times

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