Palisades Topanga State Park Fire Map May 2021

Fire Started by Homeless Person 
Acres Burned: 1,202.65 Wildfire Fire Perimeter

Homeless Man Charged With Arson In Palisades Fire

The Palisades Fire was first reported at 10 p.m. on May 14 in the 1800 block of North Michael Lane, in a canyon with steep and difficult-to-reach terrain. It quickly exploded Saturday, spreading northeast. It was burning in brush that had not seen a fire in 75 years, authorities said.

It forced the evacuation of about 500 homes in the Topanga area. On Sunday, about 100 homes in Pacific Palisades were also given an evacuation warning.

A homeless man was identified on Tuesday as the person who started Southern California's Palisades Fire, which has burned more than 1,100 acres, threatened hundreds of home and prompted the evacuation of about 1,000 people. The suspect, 48-year-old Ramon Santos Rodriguez, allegedly used an incendiary device to ignite the blaze in the Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles County, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department Arson Counterterrorism Section.

Rodriguez was arrested just before 11 a.m. on Sunday when he emerged from the burned brush near the spot where the blaze began and was spotted by a private security officer, who alerted police, officials said. He was suffering from smoke inhalation at the time he was taken into custody and he was treated at a hospital, authorities said.

Rodriguez was booked for arson at the Los Angeles County Jail, where he is being held on $75,000 bail.

"After interviews from eyewitnesses, firefighters, and police officers, as well as hours of analyzing burn patterns and documenting the fire scene, arson investigators determined that the fire was incendiary and in violation ... of the California Penal Code Arson of Forest Land," the LAFD said in a statement.

Palisades Topanga State Park Fire Map May 2021

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