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Man arrested on suspicion of starting Escondido brush fire

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Cal Fire law enforcement officers Saturday arrested a homeless Escondido man suspected of starting a three-acre brush fire Thursday near Frances Ryan Park.

Jose Duran Aguirre, 31, was arrested on suspicion of recklessly setting fire to forest land and discharging an emergency signaling device in an unlawful manner, Cal Fire Capt. Jon Heggie said.

The Escondido Police Department and Escondido Fire Department assisted in the investigation.

“Cal Fire works diligently in arson cases to aggressively investigate and prosecute those suspected of intentionally starting fires,” Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham said.

Aguirre was booked into the San Diego Central Jail on a $50,000 bond and is set to be arraigned Wednesday, Heggie said. He’s suspected of starting the “Trails Fire,” a small brush fire that was reported about 3 p.m. Thursday just east of Frances Ryan Park along Hidden Trails Road near the eastern edge of city limits. Fire crews on the ground and in the air worked quickly to contain the blaze and had it under control in about an hour, and nobody was injured.

“(Thursday’s) response is a great example of the benefits of local and state cooperation that led to the swift extinguishment, investigation and apprehension of the suspect,” Escondido Fire Chief Rick Vogt said.

Cal Fire authorities asked the public to report suspected cases of arson to the Cal Fire Arson Hotline at 800-468-4408.