Arson arrest made in California wildfire

Posted: Updated:

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Latest on wildfires in California (all times local):

9:20 p.m.

Authorities have arrested a man on suspicion of starting a wildfire east of Los Angeles that has burned five homes and forced an entire town to evacuate.

State fire officials say 32-year-old Brandon N. McGlover of Temecula was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of setting at least five fires earlier that day in southwest Riverside County.

It's unclear whether he has an attorney.

The largest fire is a 7 ½-square mile (19-square kilometer) blaze in and around the San Bernardino National Forest that prompted mandatory evacuation orders for the entire town of Idyllwild and nearby communities. The fire remains out of control.

To the north, in the San Francisco Bay Area, at least one home burned in another fast-moving blaze in Clayton.

In the Sierra Nevada, famed Yosemite National Park was closed as smoke from a fire to the west cast a pall on the region.

___

5:15 p.m.

Northern California authorities say a quick-moving brushfire has burned at least one home and prompted evacuations during a heat wave.

Robert Marshall, spokesman for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, told the East Bay Times the fire started shortly after 3 p.m. in Clayton.

Footage from ABC7 News shows thick smoke in the Marsh Creek Springs area, where homes are spread out around windy roads.

Pam Temmermand, spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told ABC7 News said there were no reports of injuries but at least two out-buildings and one residence have burned.

The fire is about 125 acres and not contained.

County officials ordered an evacuation about an hour after the fire started.

Clayton is about 30 miles east of San Francisco.

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4:40 p.m.

Homes are burning near a Southern California mountain town where a wildfire is growing out of control in brush and trees amid sweltering temperatures.

Authorities have ordered evacuations for the entire community of Idyllwild, home to about 12,000 people in the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles.

News helicopter footage showed several homes consumed by flames. There are no reports of injuries.

The California Highway Patrol says officers have detained a motorist for questioning after people called 911 to report a suspicious vehicle near the fire's starting point in Riverside County.

In the San Francisco Bay Area at least two homes have burned in a fast-moving wildfire in Clayton.

The fires come as much of California is locked in a heat wave.

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4:30 p.m.

Authorities say a motorist has been detained near the starting point of a wildfire that exploded in size and prompted evacuation orders near a Southern California mountain town during a punishing heat wave.

California Highway Patrol Officer Darren Meyer says witnesses called 911 reporting a suspicious vehicle near the site the blaze began Wednesday in Riverside County.

Meyer says a male driver was pulled over a short time later and is being questioned by investigators.

The fire quickly burned nearly 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) of dry brush and timber. Residents near the resort town of Idyllwild are evacuated and roads are closed.

To the north, a wildfire in the San Francisco Bay Area has burned at least two homes in Clayton. Authorities say multiple structures are threatened.

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2:40 p.m.

As smoke from a nearby wildfire pours into Yosemite Valley, Tom Lambert has had to tell tourists who booked his vacation home months in advance that they would have to defer their dream stays so firefighters could take protective measures against the growing blaze.

The valley, the scenic heart of Yosemite National Park, was closed at noon Wednesday. Park spokesman Scott Gediman says the exodus was orderly and visitors are understanding of the decision to close.

Lambert says his disappointed guests include a father-daughter duo who planned a graduation trip a year in advance. Another guest had to delay plans to climb Half Dome.

He says the closure is a financial blow to his rental business.

Heavy smoke from the 60-square-mile (155-square-kilometer) fire is hanging over the valley, which normally bustles with summer visitors.

___

2:30 p.m.

Evacuations have been ordered and a highway is closed as crews try to stop the spread of an out-of-control wildfire in Southern California's San Jacinto Mountains.

The U.S. Forest Service says the blaze was reported Wednesday east of Hemet and quickly grew to 800 acres (323 hectares).

Authorities say residents near the mountain town of Idyllwild have been ordered to leave and State Route 74 is shut down. It wasn't immediately known how many people are evacuated.

The fire in the San Bernardino National Forest has no containment.

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10:10 a.m.

The few remaining campers in Yosemite Valley are packing up tents and other gear before a closure goes into effect to clear the area for firefighters battling a wildfire near Yosemite National Park.

Officials say Yosemite Valley isn't in imminent danger, but the closure is necessary to allow crews to perform protective measures such as burning away brush along roadways. Other parts of the park remain open.

The scenic valley will be off-limits starting at noon Wednesday and will likely remain closed through Sunday.

Heavy smoke from the 60-square-mile (155-square-kilometer) fire is hanging over the valley, which normally bustles with summer crowds.

___

8 a.m.

Officials have ordered more mandatory evacuations as firefighters battle a growing wildfire near Yosemite National Park.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Wednesday that the blaze has burned 60 square miles (155 square kilometers). It is 25 percent contained.

The new evacuations cover communities outside the park's north side.

Authorities on Tuesday ordered visitors to leave all campsites and lodgings by noon Wednesday.

Park spokesman Scott Gediman says Yosemite Valley - the heart of the visitor experience at the park - along with a mountainous, 20-mile (32-kilometer) stretch of California's State Route 41 will close.

He says the park isn't under imminent danger from the nearby fire. Smoke from the blaze is obscuring the valley's grand vistas of waterfalls and sheer granite faces.

The closure is expected to last through Sunday.

___

12:00 a.m.

Disappointed tourists under evacuation orders are emptying campsites and lodges in the heart of Yosemite National Park, as firefighters battled to contain a huge wildfire just to the west.

Park spokesman Scott Gediman says Yosemite Valley - the heart of the visitor experience at the park - along with a mountainous, 20-mile (32-kilometer) stretch of California's State Route 41 will close Wednesday at noon. The closure is expected to last through Sunday.

He says the park isn't under imminent danger from the nearby fire. Officials decided on the closure to allow crews to perform protective measures such as burning away brush along roadways without having to deal with tourist traffic.

Smoke is obscuring the valley's grand vistas of waterfalls and shear granite faces. The fire was 25 percent contained Tuesday.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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