US Palisades Wildfire grows to 1 158 acres; 1 000 residents evacuated in Topanga Canyon
The Palisades Wildfire in Los Angeles, US, first began burning Friday night, 14 May 2021 and prompted an evacuation order for about 1 000 residents over the weekend. Around 19h00 on Saturday, mandatory evacuation orders were issued for about 1 000 residents in Zone 4 and 6 in the Topanga area, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). That included residents east of Topanga Canyon between the Community and View Ridge and everyone north of Entrada, south of Oakwood and east of Henry Ridge.
As of Monday, no structures were damaged. A fire fighter sustained a minor eye injury but was expected to be OK, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti. LAFD says it is optimistic about increasing containment soon due to constant water drops on remaining hot spots.
"Evacuation orders of course have been issued on the county side but no evacuation orders have been ordered in the city of Los Angeles," Mayor Garcetti said.
The Topanga Canyon-area residents who were evacuated due to the brush fire were allowed to return home, with the blaze 47 percent contained and holding at 1 158 acres, officials said Tuesday. As of Monday night, Topanga Canyon Boulevard was reopened to residents, who should be prepared to show ID or a Topanga access card for entry, fire officials said.
An arson suspect who had been in custody since Sunday in connection brush fire in Pacific Palisades was identified Tuesday morning. Ramon Santos Rodriguez, 48, was charged Tuesday with one felony count each of arson of a structure or forest and arson during a state of emergency, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
"Helicopter pilots had seen him make multiple sets and ID'ed him starting additional fires," said Erik Scott, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson. "So in fact we did have him, not just as an arson suspect but we were able to completely ID and confirm that and that's why we arrested him."
Investigators say Rodriguez is homeless but does not live in an encampment in the fire zone. LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said during a press conference on Monday that the suspect was treated for smoke inhalation.
Sources: NBC Los Angeles, ABC 7