PACIFIC PALISADES—On Sunday, May 23, the containment of the Pacific Palisades fire is at 90 percent. In addition, the fire has burned over 1,200 acres with no structures lost. The only injury reported is a firefighter who suffered a minor eye injury.
On May 19, the Los Angeles Fire Department took the lead position on fighting the blaze. Cal Fire and the Los Angeles County Fire Department are now serving as assisting agencies. Officials are continuing to ask hikers and bikers to stay out of the region to prevent interference with firefighters until the fire is contained.
Authorities arrested Ramon Santo Rodriguez, 48, for starting the fire. He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries related to smoke inhalation. At this time, Ramon is being held on $350,000 bail, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department noted. Arson was suspected when multiple fires broke out within the same area and helicopters saw a man moving throughout the area where the fires first started.
He was charged on Tuesday, May 18, with one felony count each of arson of a structure or forest and arson during a state of emergency stated by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. He pleaded not guilty to these charges and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 1.