Firefighters extinguish multiple brush fires in Towsley Canyon, search for possible arsonist

Firefighters responding to a brush fire in Towsley Canyon late Wednesday afternoon. Dan Watson / The Signal

Firefighters were called to multiple brush fires that led to a search for a possible arsonist in the hills of Towsley Canyon into Wednesday evening. 

Within a half-hour of the first blaze being reported at 4:33 p.m. on the 24000 block of Towsley Canyon Road, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials reported that the helicopters had extinguished the 20- by 20-foot spot fire.  

“They knocked it down with a couple helicopter drops,” said Supervisor Bernard Peters at 5:11 p.m.  

However, firefighters continued to coordinate with the Santa Clarita Valley Search and Rescue team, as they believed there could be a possible arson suspect in the area, Fire Department Supervisor Melanie Flores. 

A Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter responds to a brush fire in Towsley Canyon on Wednesday evening. Dan Watson/The Signal

“While we put out one, he’d set another one, we’d put that out,” said Peters at approximately 7:40 p.m. on Wednesday.  

While emergency personnel on the scene were initially able to confirm that it was a working fire, Jonathan Matheny, a spokesman for the Fire Department, said at 4:45 p.m. that details remained sparse as ground units continued to hike their way up the canyon toward the incident location.  

“A ranger station lookout spotted it 1-2 miles away, seeing dark smoke,” said Matheny, 10 minutes after the initial report of the first fire. “We don’t know how big it is or just where it is at yet.”  

Although the fire had been extinguished, firefighters continued to climb up the canyon as of 5:10 p.m. to inspect the site, Peters said.  Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel remained on the scene, as well as law enforcement, more than two hours after the initial report.  

As of 7:40 p.m., there were at least three spot fires started in Towsley Canyon Wednesday evening, but they had only burned roughly one-eighth of an acre, according to Peters. 

It remained unclear, as of the publication of this story, if a suspect had been detained in connection to the fires. Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials could not be reached for comment.  

No injuries were reported nor structures threatened. 

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