Criminal report filed after Borton Fire

Los Angeles County firefighters scale a hill at a brush fire on Borton Road in Val Verde Friday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal
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Criminal intent is suspected in the Borton Fire that occurred in Val Verde Friday night, according to law enforcement officials.

“They did take a possible criminal report,” Lt. Eric Lasko of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said Saturday morning. “It appears that there was some indication that it was criminal in nature.”

On Friday, SCV Sheriff’s Station deputies were conducting a search for a suspect near San Martinez Road in Val Verde. After believing they may have closed in on the location of the alleged criminal, they established a containment area.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy searches a vehicle exiting a containment area on San Martinez Road in Val Verde Friday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

The containment area was established because deputies believed they had located a grand theft auto suspect they’ve been searching for since Wednesday night, according to officials on the scene.

However, at approximately 7 p.m., a small vegetation broke out on the nearby 29000 block of Borton Street. Deputies were pulled off the containment and began to battle the blaze with fire extinguishers, buying time until Los Angeles County firefighters arrived.

“They called smoke showing from about 2 miles outside the location,” said Michael Pittman, a Fire Department spokesman. “We got there, and they said it was about an acre.”

A brush fire scorches a hillside on Borton Road in Val Verde Friday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

At 7:43 p.m., officials announced forward progress had stopped, and the blaze had been held to a single acre.

By 8 p.m., the prevailing theory by deputies on the scene of the incident was that the fire was used as a potential diversion to distract deputies from the contained suspect.

“It’s been turned over to our Detectives Bureau for further investigation,” said Lasko.

As of Saturday morning, no arrests have been made in connection with the investigation or the containment.

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