Illegal fireworks ignite brush at Val Verde natural gas field

An early morning blaze in Val Verde was believed to be started by the use of illegal fireworks, according to a fire official.

At 12:23 a.m, 911 operators received a report of a vegetation fire burning in the area of Hasley Canyon Road and Del Valle Road just northwest of Santa Clarita city limits.

Crews from nearby Fire Station 143 arrived on scene and described the fire as a half-acre in size and quickly spreading uphill.

At that time, the fire was charring light to medium brush and was not threatening any homes or other structures, according to Battalion No. 6 Fire Chief Anderson Mackey.

A Los Angeles County firefighter heads toward flames shooting out of a Val Verde natural gas field on July 9, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

The blaze soon spread to a natural gas field and ignited above-ground lines sending flames shooting into the air. Fire officials maintained a safe distance from the lines until gas company engineers could work to cut off flow to the flames.

Crews were able to contain the blaze to just over an acre of land shortly before 2 a.m. as law enforcement turn their attention to the suspicious circumstances surround the fire’s ignition.

“Upon our arrival, the L. A. County Sheriff’s Department had two individuals that they had in custody who admitted to starting the fire utilizing illegal fireworks,” Mackey said.

The two people captured after the blaze began were both men, according to a tweet posted by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

The battalion chief advised anyone with the intention of discharging any fireworks in Los Angeles County to think twice.

For those interested in enjoying a fireworks display to visit only those sanctioned by the fire department or a licensed pyrotechnic company.

A Los Angeles County firefighter knocks down flames shooting out of a Val Verde natural gas field on July 9, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal


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Austin Dave

Austin Dave

Austin Dave is an award-winning multimedia journalist. He heads The Signal's video news operations while reporting on the Santa Clarita Valley's most impacting topics.