Deputies arrest man suspected of starting North County brush fire

FALLBROOK, Calif. — Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man suspected of intentionally starting a brush fire in the North County Sunday.

The fire broke out off Highway 76 at Ramona Drive around 12:30 p.m. and briefly threatened buildings before the flames were extinguished, according to Cal Fire.

When they arrived, Sheriff’s deputies noticed a man walking away from where the fire appeared to have started. He was later identified as 34-year-old Brad Arands. When they approached Arands, deputies say he looked disheveled and was acting “highly suspicious.”

After questioning him, deputies arrested the man on suspicion of felony arson and took him to Vista Detention Facility, according to a department release.

Ground and air crews from both Cal Fire and the North County Fire Protection District had helped keep the flames under control. No structures were damaged and no injuries were reported, Cal Fire Capt. Issac Sanchez said.

The fire came just hours after a red flag warning went into effect in San Diego due to gusty winds, low humidity and dry brush.

Elsewhere in the state, the Woolsey Fire had scorched more than 83,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and the Camp Fire in Northern California had destroyed nearly 7,000 structures and killed at least 23 people in its 109,000-acre burn zone.