As Southern California presses onward into some of the hottest days of the year, so does the increased chance of fire hazard and the risks and threats these devastating infernos have on all local inhabitants. The morning of Tuesday, August 16 at around 10:36 a.m. locals saw the ignition of one such blaze, that wouldn’t reach its last ember until a week later on August 23. The unruly fire burned along the Blue Cut hiking trail near the Cajon Pass north of San Bernardino, which is an area known for its high-speed winds of 20-30 miles per hour. These channeled winds spread the fire over 36,274 acres, devastating local wildlife, destroying 105 single family homes, and sending over 82,000 residents of surrounding communities into evacuation sites.
The wind encouraged the fire to reach frightening peaks, visible from several locations throughout Redlands located many miles away. After only six hours, the fire consumed nearly 5,500 acres of wildlife and was encroaching upon the nearest town of Wrightwood. Throughout the fire’s duration, two firefighters sustained mild yet hospitalizing injuries the day after the initial spark, and being trapped inside a burning residence. 1,584 fire personnel continued battling the blaze, with 178 fire engines and 47 fire crews in action for the remainder of its burn.
Although the fire was announced 100% contained at around 7:45 on the morning of August 23, the cause of its creation is still under investigation. On Sunday, September 4, a suspect by the name of Larry Missirlian, a local resident of Ontario, was arrested on account of the circumstance law enforcement.. Police found Missirlian in a parked vehicle near a large, untouched area where the fire had not burned. Upon searching his vehicle police uncovered a 5-gallon gasoline tank, lighter fluid, cigarette lighters, and large butane torches. Missirlian was discovered to be in violation of his active parole and has been proven to be an arson registrant. On account of these conditions and the location of his discovery, Missirlian was arrested and awaits to stand trial on Wednesday, September 7th at noon.