A homeless man was arrested late Wednesday in connection with a brush fire on Glendora Mountain Road north of Big Dalton Canyon, Glendora police said Thursday.
The fire was spotted climbing 100 feet up the hillside by a Glendora Police officer at 9:23 p.m. Wednesday, Lt. Brian Summers said in a statement.
Capt. Tim Staab said the on-duty police officer was able to get responders to the scene while the fire was still small.
“It could have been just horrible,” Staab said, referring to the fire’s proximity to the Angeles National Forest.
The initial officer spotted Edward Zavala, 35, walking away from the fire scene and he was arrested on suspicion of arson after making inconsistent statements, Summers wrote.
“Zavala later told officers that he accidentally started the fire with his lighter while attempting to use it as a light source and panicked, fleeing the area,” Summers wrote. “The lighter was recovered.”
Responders from the Los Angeles County Fire Department were able to contain the fire to a quarter acre and county arson investigators assisted the police department, Summers said.
Zavala was being held at the Glendora City Jail on a felony charge of recklessly starting a fire. Bail was set at $20,000.
– Melissa Masatani
PHOTO of Edward Zavala courtesy of the Glendora Police Department.