Brandon N. McGlover has just been taken into police custody under the suspicion of starting the Cranston fire currently spreading throughout California.
Authorities believe the Cranston fire began around lunchtime on July 25. Within four hours, the fire had already spread and engulfed about 1,200 acres. Two hours later, the fire had more than doubled in size.
Investigators believe the fires spread so quickly because the terrain was extremely steep, and the weather was hot and dry. With low humidity and wind, the conditions were ripe for a fire to spread quickly and dangerously. By the following day, California’s Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Riverside County as the fire spread to about 20,000 acres.
One officer monitoring the fires spotted a white Honda driving around, so he decided to stop the car. Inside, he found McGlover and possible fire accelerants. The suspect was immediately arrested under suspicion of fueling the fires, and his bail was set $1 million. Additional charges are pending and likely to be filed within the coming days. It is still unclear what motivated the suspect to commit this atrocious crime that has impacted thousands of California residents, but investigators will continue to push for answers.
The Cranston fire has forced over 2,500 homes to be evacuated to avoid the flames. Over 3,200 individuals have needed to evacuate various areas to avoid the flames. Almost 700 responders have already been called out to assist with containing the flames, but winds continue to spread the blaze eastward.