USA VICTORVILLE Fire crews battled a brush fire that burned roughly 26 acres in Mojave Narrows Park Thursday as authorities arrested an arson suspect in the area.
First reported at 11:18 a.m. near Ridgecrest and Yates roads, according to San Bernardino County Fire Department officials, the blaze, which was called the Narrows Fire, quickly spread due to light grass and heavy winds.
Upon arrival, firefighters found a little over 2 acres of annual grasses that were burning and wind driven by 10 to 20 mph winds, County Fire spokesman Eric Sherwin told the Daily Press a little after 1 p.m. We stopped forward progress of the fire and we do have a couple other additional fires that are burning about a mile further up the River Bottom. … We were fortunate to not have any structures threatened at any point in this incident.
An arson suspect, identified as Victorville transient Kyle Andrew Trussell, 23, was reported to be in the area attempting to light more fires and was taken into custody at 11:58 a.m., authorities said.
The subject fled from deputies and air support by traversing the river and hiding under trees, CHP Inland Division officials said in a statement. After identifying the subjects location, H-80 relinquished air support to the (San Bernardino County Sheriffs Departments) helicopter 40 King, who continued aerial observation as the subject attempted to avoid apprehension.
The subject was ultimately taken into custody by deputies. Great job by ground units tracking the subject and bringing the incident to a conclusion.
Trussell was arrested on suspicion of aggravated arson and was being held on $250,000 bail, according to San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman, who said sheriffs Bomb/Arson investigators responded to the scene.
A San Bernardino County Sheriffs deputy and a firefighter were reported to have suffered minor injuries from the blaze.
We had one deputy that was injured with a heat-related illness as a result of this incident, Sherwin confirmed. He was transported to a local facility in minor condition.
Eleven engines, two crews, one dozer, three water tenders and three helicopters were assigned to the fire, according to County Fires Twitter account. Personnel from the Apple Valley Fire Protection District and Bureau of Land Management also responded to the incident.
Sherwin said the close proximity of the water source at Mojave Narrows Parks was instrumental with quick helicopter drops on the fire.
We dont have a whole lot of hydrants in this area and bringing water tenders in takes quite a while, Sherwin said. So being able to draft from this water source as well as having a quick water source for the helicopters allowed us to get on top of this fire quick.
With the rains we saw over the past season we have the return of our annual grass crop that does create fires and burn fast and move quickly especially when we get wind on it. This is the first of what we expect to be many incidents we will be combating this year.