Sheriff’s investigators probing arson-related fire in Val Verde

Deputies detain a woman near the scene of a brush fire along Highway 126 west of Chiquito Canyon Road. Austin Dave/The Signal
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A fire that began Friday morning in a homeless encampment is under investigation, sheriff’s officials confirmed.

The blaze was first reported in a densely vegetated area of Val Verde, near the 29800 block of Monroe Street, Fire Department officials confirmed.

Arriving units found a 40-foot-by-40-foot spot fire that quickly spread to the surrounding riverbed, according to Los Angeles County Fire Spokesman Austin Bennett.

Deputies detain a woman near the scene of a brush fire along Highway 126 west of Chiquito Canyon Road. Austin Dave/The Signal

Two engines and a camp crew were able to handle the fire which grew to about a quarter-acre in size, Bennett said.

No structures were damaged as a result of the fire but several possessions belonging to transients living in the riverbed were lost, according to Lt. Leo Bauer of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arson and explosives detail detective was dispatched to the scene of the blaze, Bauer explained.

Units patrolling the area located a woman suspected to have started the fire in a reckless manner, Bauer said.

Deputies find several lighters after detaining a woman near the scene of a brush fire along Highway 126 west of Chiquito Canyon Road. Austin Dave/The Signal

The 37-year-old woman was detained along Highway 126, just west of Chiquito Canyon Road, slightly more than a mile from where the fire was reported an hour prior.

As part of standard procedure, a female deputy was dispatched to the detaining unit’s location to search the suspect for suspicious or dangerous items.

Several lighters were recovered from her belongings.

Deputies detain a woman near the scene of a brush fire along Highway 126 west of Chiquito Canyon Road. Austin Dave/The Signal

“(The woman) was detained and is under investigation for potential arson and for outstanding warrants,” Bauer said.

Investigators are still examining the burned area near Monroe Street, the lieutenant confirmed.

“We’re waiting for information from the arson detective,” Bauer said shortly after 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Deputies detain a woman near the scene of a brush fire along Highway 126 west of Chiquito Canyon Road. Austin Dave/The Signal

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