TOPANGA CANYON—On June 1, an apparent arson incident occurred in Malibu during the pre-dawn hours. It is believed that a suspect driving a white Isuzu Trooper used a road flare or fireworks to ignite a brushfire in the area near the Pacific Coast Highway and Topanga Canyon at around 12 a.m. In a few minutes, firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze, which affected a quarter of vegetation in the area.

The Los Angeles Fire Department is also investigating a series of fires that may be related to arson in the Venice area. The incidents have occurred during recent weeks, and city officials are now requesting of the public to report any suspicious incidents and to use common-sense precautions when preventing fires near their residences.

In a prepared statement, Bill Rosendahl, Councilman for the Venice area said, “We are determined to keep Venice safe by working together with the community; we will apprehend and arrest the person or persons responsible.”

LAFD reports that the fires began in outside areas, targeting vehicles, fences and rubbish, but Fire Department officials now indicate that the fires have extended into a structure.

Investigators have questioned two individuals in connection to the alleged arsons; however, no suspects have been arrested as of press time. Whether the recent Malibu fire is connected to previous fires in surrounding areas is not immediately known.

LAFD reports that the lead agency in the investigation is the Los Angeles Fire Department, working in cooperation with the Los Angeles Police Department, Council Member Rosendahl’s office and other allied agencies, including the Santa Monica Fire Department.

Fire officials encourage the public to remain alert to suspicious activity. LAFD advises residents to lock all vehicles, secure gates and garages, and to place rubbish in cans and secure trash cans behind closed or locked fences. To report an active fire, call 911. Residents are also encouraged to contact the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section office directly at 213-485-6095 to report any suspicious incidents or to report further information about any of the recent fires.